Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated February 3, 2017

Some common questions regarding a by-election in the constituency of Saskatoon Meewasin, to be held before May 29, 2017.

  1. Voter Eligibility (Who Can Vote)
  2. Voter Registration
  3. Voting (How, Where and When to Vote)
  4. ID to Vote
  5. Accessibility
  6. Candidates and Parties
  7. Employment
  8. About Elections
  9. Media, Advertising and Signage Rules

VOTER ELIGIBILITY (Who Can Vote)


To vote in the Saskatoon Meewasin by-election you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen;
  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Have lived in Saskatchewan for at least the six months before the date the by-election is called (Aug. 3, 2016);
  • Ordinarily be a resident of the constituency of Saskatoon Meewasin.

Yes there are special rules for students, military personnel, British subjects and election candidates.

Residents of the Saskatoon Meewasin constituency who are now studying outside Saskatchewan are eligible to vote, as are students from out of province who are now studying in Saskatchewan and living in the Saskatoon Meewasin constituency.

Active members of the Canadian Forces and their families from the Saskatoon Meewasin constituency and are serving outside the province can vote. Active Canadian Forces members and their families from outside the province currently serving in Saskatchewan and living in the Saskatoon Meewasin constituency are also eligible to vote.

A non-Canadian, who is a British Subject and who was qualified as a Saskatchewan provincial voter on June 23, 1971 (that is, they were born on or before June 23, 1953 and resided in the province since or before December 23, 1970) is permitted to register as a provincial voter. However, they must declare their non-Canadian British Subject status at the time of registration.

A British Subject is defined as a person who is a citizen of any other Commonwealth country. There are 53 member states in the Commonwealth of Nations.

A candidate who resides outside of the constituency in which they are running can choose to vote in the constituency in which the candidate is contesting the election.  The candidate’s spouse and any dependents who reside with the candidate can also opt to vote in the constituency in which the candidate is contesting the election.

As a Canadian citizen you are allowed to vote in Canada.

You must be a Canadian citizen to vote in Canada.

You must be a Canadian citizen to vote in Canada.

You must be a Canadian citizen to vote in Canada.

If you are eligible to vote in the Saskatoon Meewasin constituency by-election, you can register by either calling 1.877.958.8683 or online at www.elections.sk.ca/voterregistration. If you don't get on the list before the by-election begins, and you are eligible to vote in this by-election, you can still have your name added to the list on by-election day by registering at your polling station.


VOTER REGISTRATION

You can check by either calling 1.877.958.8683 or checking online at www.elections.sk.ca/voterregistration.

Registered voters will be advised via mail of the dates, times and locations of advance and regular voting sites set up for the Saskatoon Meewasin by-election. Voters lists, showing the names and addresses of voters assigned to each voting station, are printed and used by Saskatchewan election officials to ensure each voter only votes once. Candidates can also receive a copy of the voters list for the constituency in which they are running.

Yes, your information will be stored in our register of voters for use in future provincial elections.

Information on registered voters can only be used for electoral purposes. Voters list information is shared with registered political parties and election candidates, but the information can only be used for election purposes. Elections Saskatchewan has a formal information sharing agreement with Elections Canada, and may establish such agreements with provincial municipal election authorities in the future. Unless a voter specifically asks not to have their information stored in the provincial register of voters, their name will appear on voters lists published at each election and will be shared with provincially registered political parties, candidates and with Elections Canada.

Elections Saskatchewan takes privacy, and the protection of it, seriously. All Saskatoon Meewasin by-election workers will be provided with privacy training that deals with the types of personal information they will have access to as election workers and their obligation to only use the information for the reason it was collected.

You may choose to not be registered prior to by-election day. If you intend to vote, but you do not want to be included in the provincial register of voters, you may register at the time of voting at your polling station.

Being on the register has several benefits: you don’t have to re-register at every election, you will be automatically included on the list of electors for an election, and you will receive a voter information card in the mail card informing you where and when to vote. If you do not want your name included in the register of voters, you can also opt out by completing and submitting this form.

Some information was provided to Elections Saskatchewan by Elections Canada. We have a formal information sharing agreement with Elections Canada. When you allowed Elections Canada to add you to their voter list you agreed to share that info with Elections SK. You may have given that consent on your Income Tax and Benefit Form (T1 General) or at any time that Elections Canada reached you during an enumeration from any previous general elections or by-elections. Other information came directly from voters as part of our voter registration efforts.

We’re sorry that this happened. If you provide us with the name of your relative, we will immediately remove them from the list.

Elections Canada created a national register of voters in 1997 and has maintained information on registered voters in Saskatchewan for the past 18 years. Elections Saskatchewan recently signed an information sharing agreement with Elections Canada and has access to this information for the first time.

Registering at the time of voting is an option that is always available. However, if many people choose this option the lineups for registration at the Saskatoon Meewasin voting locations will become very long. Anyone who registers at the time of voting must provide identification documents that prove their identity and address of residence and complete a form in the presence of election officers.

Saskatchewan’s election legislation, The Election Act, 1996, includes occupation as information to collect from voters. This information is optional and you will not be denied the opportunity to vote if you do not provide this information.

Saskatchewan’s election legislation, The Election Act, 1996, includes birth dates as information that is mandatory to collect from voters. We need this information to ensure all voters will be at least 18 years old on election day.

Saskatchewan’s election legislation, The Election Act, 1996, includes middle names as information to collect from voters. This information is not mandatory but will help to ensure we can differentiate you from other voters with the same or similar name.

Legislation was passed in 2014 to allow Elections Saskatchewan to establish and maintain a permanent register of voters. This register was established prior to the last general election that was held on April 4, 2016 and contains the names of over 90 percent of eligible voters in Saskatchewan. This eliminates the need to go door-to-door to establish voters lists prior to each electoral event. Elections Saskatchewan may choose to conduct voter registration drives in specific areas to ensure the voters lists is as current as possible.

The card, mailed to a registered voter, confirms the voter is on the voters list and tells the voter where and when to vote. The Voter Information Card (VIC) is an acceptable form of ID that must be used in combination with another piece of ID to prove your identity and residence. Your VIC will be mailed to registered voters in the Saskatoon Meewasin constituency after the writ is issued and before by-election day.

Yes, your Voter Information Card (VIC) can be used as one piece of ID that is proof of name and address. You will also need to show one other piece of ID that shows your name.

You can find where to vote here or by calling 1-877-958-8683.

You can go to the Voter Registration page and update your information, or call 1-877-958-8683.

Voters are entitled to keep their VIC after they vote, if they choose. However, the majority of the time the voter hands over their VIC to an election official after they vote. Election officials collect the VICs and securely dispose of them at the end of election day.


VOTING (How, Where and When to Vote)

There are several days, times and ways to vote. You can read about them on our Ways To Vote page.

You can read about voting in a personal care home on our Ways To Vote page.

You can read about voting as a patient in a hospital on our Ways To Vote page.

You can read about voting by mail on our Ways To Vote page.

You can read about voting by mail on our Ways To Vote page.

You can read about voting by mail on our Ways To Vote page.

You are eligible to vote in any of the ways that are offered. If required, you can get a Letter of Stay from a shelter such as the YMCA or Salvation Army to use as ID when you go to vote.

You can read about homebound voting on our Ways To Vote page.
No, there is no voting place on this campus. Check your VIC for where to vote, or call 1.877.958.8683.

Elections Saskatchewan may have voting places on campuses but these voting places will only be available to students who live in this area, such as in campus dormitories or nearby residences.

Under The Election Act, 1996, you must vote at the polling station in the voting place assigned to you. You can find the name and address of your polling place on the Voter Information Card that was mailed to you. If you did not receive one, call 1-877-958-8683 and find out what your polling station number is. And you can vote in advance voting at any poll location within the Saskatoon Meewasin constituency.
There is currently no legislative authority for Elections Saskatchewan to use electronic voting machines.

At this time, Elections Saskatchewan is not legally allowed to offer online voting or voting over the Internet.

On election day you will go to a specific polling station at a specific voting place and show your ID. You can find the location of your voting place on your Voter Information Card (VIC), by visiting our Where to Vote tool or by calling 1-877-958-8683.

Please call 1-877-958-8683 and we can update your information and tell you where to vote.

You are entitled to three clear hours to vote. If your work schedule does not provide for three clear hours to vote while the polls are open, you should talk to your manager. You can also vote in advance voting.

You can plan ahead and vote as an absentee voter and vote by mail. This process starts by downloading an application to vote by mail.

  1. When you arrive at your voting location, an election worker greets you and directs you to the right table.
  2. If you are already registered you show your ID and your name is crossed off the voters list.
  3. If you are not registered, you will be directed to an election official who will take your information and add you to the voters list.
  4. You are handed a ballot.
  5. Go behind a voting screen to vote in private. Mark one candidate of your choice with an X. Fold your ballot to keep it secret. You are not required to tell anyone who you voted for.
  6. Hand it back to an election worker. They will show you what ballot box to put it in.
  7. That’s it. You’ve voted.

Constituencies, such as Saskatoon Meewasin, are divided into polling divisions of roughly 300 voters. A voters list is prepared and a polling place is established for each division.

Electronic copies of provincial and constituency maps are available through our website.

After the polls close on election day, election officials open the ballot boxes and count each ballot. Candidates are entitled to have a representative present to watch the count. The results from each poll are then communicated to the constituency returning officer. Because some absentee ballots may not have arrived by by-election day, these by-election night results are only provisional. Once the ballots have been counted, they are resealed in the ballot boxes to await the final count, which occurs 12 days after the by-election, when all absentee, hospital, and remand centre ballots have been received.

In the event of a tie, or even a very close election, any candidate or candidate's business manager can ask for a recount or in some cases there is a mandatory recount.

The ballots are sealed in envelopes which remain sealed for a period of one year, after which they are destroyed.


ID TO VOTE

You need to prove your identity to vote. You can show ID that proves both your identity and your address. You have three options:
  1. A driver’s licence, or other government-issued ID that has both your name, photo and address. This must be your civic/residential address, legal land description, lot/block/plan or First Nation reserve.
  2. Show two pieces of ID, both must have your name and one must have your address. For example, your health card and a utility bill. There are more than 50 acceptable documents. These are listed on the back of your Voter Information Card (VIC) and at elections.sk.ca/bringID.
  3. At the voting station, you can sign a declaration, and a registered voter from the constituency of Saskatoon Meewasin, such as a neighbour or roommate, may vouch for you. Each person can only vouch for one other individual.

Yes, an electronic copy of your ID, such as a utility bill, is acceptable.

Yes, by vouching. At the voting station, you can sign a declaration, and a registered voter from the constituency of Saskatoon Meewasin who knows you, such as a neighbour or roommate, may vouch for you. Each person can only vouch for one other individual.

As long as your name and address is on an acceptable form of ID, this is acceptable regardless of the language.


ACCESSIBILITY

Yes. We are committed to including all Saskatoon Meewasin residents in the voting process. All election workers are able to provide voters with assistance when voting. Please check your voter information card to confirm accessibility at your voting location.

If voting in advance or on by-election day does not work for you, please see the other ways to vote

Yes, all the polls in this by-election are accessible.

Each voting place will have on hand:

  • Pencil grips
  • Magnifiers
  • A tactile and Braille voting template that fits on top of a ballot
  • Adequate lighting, or additional lighting behind the voting screens as you mark your ballot

We hope one of the six ways there are to vote can work for you. You could contact your constituency returning office to discuss how we can make one of these options work for you.



CANDIDATES AND PARTIES

The first step is determining if you're eligible. You must be:

  • 18 years of age on election day
  • A Canadian citizen
  • living in Saskatchewan for at least 6 months before election day
  • After determining your eligibility:
    • you file nomination papers that must include the signatures of at least 4 voters in the Saskatoon Meewasin constituency, and
    • pay a $100 nomination deposit

A candidate who resides outside of the constituency in which they are running can choose to vote in the constituency in which the candidate is contesting the election. The candidate’s spouse and any dependents who reside with the candidate can also opt to vote in the constituency in which the candidate is contesting the election.

Before seeking nomination or being a candidate in a by-election, it is your responsibility to ensure you are in compliance with any policies or guidelines established by your employer with respect to political activities. For example, if you work in the federal, provincial or municipal sector or hold a public appointment or office, there may be legislation related to employee participation in the electoral process.

That date will be determined after the by-election date is announced.

http://www.elections.sk.ca/candidates-political-parties/forms-and-guides/.

There are six political parties registered in Saskatchewan:

  • Green Party of Saskatchewan
  • New Democratic Party, Saskatchewan Section
  • Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan
  • Saskatchewan Liberal Association
  • Saskatchewan Party
  • Western Independence Party of Saskatchewan (W.I.P.)

There are no donation limits for contributing to registered political parties or candidates. However, donations can only be made by Canadian citizens. As well, no anonymous contributions in excess of $250 may be accepted by a registered political party or candidate and the names of any contributor that contributes more than $250 will be disclosed. More information on contributions can be found here.

Yes, there are per The Election Act, 1996. The expenditure limits for 2016 will be updated on our website in January 2016.

More information on election expense limits can be found here.

Yes, you can find this information on our website here.

Yes we will. The candidate returns of election expenses will be posted on our website after they are received from the candidates and reviewed.

EMPLOYMENT

At this time, we are not actively recruiting workers for this by-election. If that changes, a call for by-election workers will be issued.

  • Deputy Returning Officer (DRO)
  • Poll Clerk (PC)
  • Supervisory Deputy Returning Officer (SDRO)
  • Information Officer (IO)
  • Registration Officer (RegO)
  • Security Officer
  • Messenger

 

Job descriptions and requirements for these positions are available at: http://www.elections.sk.ca/workers/election-jobs/.

A resident within a constituency appointed by the Chief Electoral Officer to administer an election in that constituency.

Supervisory returning officers act as liaisons between Elections Saskatchewan and the constituency returning officers. Every SRO represents a zone of the province comprising six to eight constituencies. SROs assist the returning officers within their zone in performing their duties.

The Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) and Poll Clerk (PC) work as a team on election day. Each has clearly defined roles and responsibilities which help to make the process smooth and efficient. The DRO is in charge of the polling station and ensures everyone follows regulations and procedures.

Yes, for some positions, you need to be an eligible voter (which means being a Canadian citizen, 18 years old, and ordinarily resident in Saskatchewan for the past six months). There are limited roles for non-citizens, as well.

In some cases yes such as working in a returning office and on a voting day. However you can only have one job on election day.

No, there is no test for election workers. Training will be provided and all election workers need to be present for the training.

Yes, there will be a 2-3 hour, in-person training session for all election workers. These will be scheduled beginning the week of March 21. Your Returning officer will contact you directly with the exact date, time and location.

Elections Saskatchewan will provide you with an identification lanyard so that you are clearly identified as an election worker. You may not wear any clothing that can be perceived as supporting a political party.

Yes, the types of payments we can make and the amount we are legally allowed to pay for election-related work are established by regulation approved by the provincial government. We have no discretion to alter these rates. You can find the details in the Schedule of Fees.
If you worked on by-election day, your paycheque will be produced and mailed to you within one month of by-election day.

Yes, we are legally required to deduct and remit source deductions from employee pay. This includes income tax, CPP and EI. Election officials who work less than 35 hours do not normally have deductions taken from their pay.
Yes, T4s will be issued in February 2018 to election workers and other employees who earned $500 or more in the 2016 calendar year.

Yes, to both. We reach out to many previous election workers to see if they are interested in working the Saskatoon Meewasin by-election, provided they live in that constituency. There may also be advertising for workers in print media, on the SaskPoly Tech Saskatoon campus, online, via social media, and through our Saskatoon Meewasin constituency returning officer.


ABOUT ELECTIONS

Elections Saskatchewan is the province’s independent, impartial, professional election management body. Given a mandate from the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly, it organizes, manages and oversees provincial electoral events, including the April 4 general election. You can find information for voters, workers, media, candidates and parties at www.elections.sk.ca.

In our First Past the Post system, each eligible Saskatchewan voter is allowed to cast one vote for one of the candidates in their constituency (known in other provinces as electoral districts, electoral divisions, or federally as ridings). In each constituency, candidates compete to be elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). The candidate with the most votes wins. In Saskatchewan as a whole, the political party with the most candidates elected becomes the government and the leader of that party becomes the Premier.
  • November 13, 2014 – Lloydminster. 2,806 ballots cast of 7,076 eligible voters
  • October 18, 2010 - Saskatoon Northwest. 5,196 ballots cast of 9,395 eligible voters
  • September 21, 2009 -  Regina Douglas Park. 6,199 ballots cast of 9,967 eligible voters
  • September 21, 2009 - Saskatoon Riversdale. 4,063 ballots cast of 7,224 eligible voters
  • June 25, 2008 – Cumberland. 3,154 ballots cast of 8,439 eligible voters
  • March 5, 2007 – Martensville. 4,614 ballots cast of 10,223 eligible voters

Yes.

MEDIA AND ADVERTISING RULES

Yes, The Election Act, 1996 sets the rules for the provincial electoral process, including rules that apply to media and advertisers during election campaigns.

Section 215 of The Election Act, 1996 states that no person shall distribute or cause to be distributed any advertisement that refers to an election or promotes the candidacy of a particular person unless there is included in, or unless there appears on the face of, the advertisement a statement that the advertisement is authorized by the chief official agent of a registered political party or the business manager for the candidate..

Rules and permissions around where political party and candidate advertising signs can be placed are no different than for any other signs in general. Permission from the landowner or tenant is required regardless of who the landowner is. For those renting a commercial property, they should review their lease agreement with respects to election signage, and review Section 47 in The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. For election signs near streets and roadways, you should contact the municipal authorities that have responsibility for those streets or roadways. For election signs near a highway, here is information about election signs from the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure and the The Highways and Transportation Act, 1997.

No. The Election Act, 1996 specifically prohibits the unlawful removal, destruction or mutilation of election notices or signs setup or displayed by or on behalf of a candidate. The penalty for taking down or destroying notices or signs is a fine up to $5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.

No. The Election Act, 1996 does not address the placement of election signs other than in Section 190 that speaks to prohibited displays, materials and other listed items on polling day within 50 feet of a polling place.

Yes, The Election Act, 1996 does not restrict advertising on by-election day. However, on election day no person is allowed to post or display within any polling place or within 50 feet of a polling place, any campaign literature, emblem, ensign, badge, label, ribbon, flag, banner, card, bill, poster, or device that could be taken as an indication of support for a candidate or political party or group.

Also prohibited on election day, prior to the closure of the polls, is the use of a public address system or other loudspeaker device and the organization of or participation in parades or demonstrations for purpose of promoting or securing the election of a candidate.

By-election day, and the days preceding it, are busy ones for the returning officer and other election staff. All media requests for interviews should be directed to the Elections Saskatchewan’s head office in Regina at 1-855-220-7355 or communications@elections.sk.ca.

Per The Election Act, 1996, no personal electronics (including cameras and video cameras) are permitted for use inside a voting place.

Elections Saskatchewan wants to provide some flexibility to media for doing their work, but at the same time protecting the secrecy of the ballot and of the privacy of the voting public. Therefore, media may take photos or record video inside the building of a polling station, but are not allowed to go into the room in which the voting is taking place and provided that no voter objects. For example, photos or recording video of a polling place can be taken through an open doorway. If a voter objects, the photography or video recording should stop until that voter has finished voting and has left the voting place.

There are not many rules outside of the writ period (campaign period) when it comes to the message and “authorized by”. During the writ period the ads do need the “authorized by” message. We generally advise parties and candidates to include this message all the time, as we’ve had instances where ads recorded outside the writ period do not contain the “authorized by” message, and then those same ads get re-used in the media during the campaign.

The focus is on creating materials and advertising in various mediums that provide voters with the essential information needed to vote, and for votes to find out:

  • If they are registered and on the voters list;
  • Where candidate names and information can be found;
  • Where and when to vote;
  • The options for how to vote (by-election day, advance, by mail, homebound, etc.);
  • What ID is acceptable that shows both their name and address.

Our education and outreach activities are focused mainly on removing barriers to voting, as opposed to the motivation to vote. This includes:

  • Using plain language in our materials;
  • Providing alternate mediums including videos (check out our YouTube channel);
  • Ensuring the event advertising of where and when to vote uses multiple media, not just traditional media;
  • Reminding voters that they need to show ID to vote, and all the ID options;
  • Designing the voter information card (VIC) to be easily read and streamlined with only the essential information that a voter needs;

As per Section 46.1 of The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and Section 36.11 of The Condominium Property Act, 1993, access is to be granted to residential premises to candidates and their representatives from the day the writ is issued until election day, April 4, 2016 for purposes of canvassing and distribution of election materials. These provincial laws supersede any by-laws regarding canvassing that may have been developed by a condominium corporation or any rules put in place by an apartment building owner.

A candidate may appoint Saskatchewan residents who are Canadian citizens and who are at least 14 years of age to act as candidate's representatives. With the exception of mobile polls and homebound voter polls, up to two candidate's representatives may be present at each polling place to observe election procedures and ensure the fairness of the election. A candidate's representative also has right of access to apartment and condominium buildings to canvass on behalf of the candidate.

Yes. Opinion polls may be conducted and the results made available to the public at any time during the election.

No, third parties do not have to register with us. The administration of elections, including rules regarding political contributions and election advertising, are dealt with in The Election Act, 1996. Elections Saskatchewan does not have any specific wguidelines for third parties during elections, but there are some relevant sections of the Act that deal with this topic.

Section 215 of The Election Act, 1996 is an offence provision which defines the term “advertisement” and prohibits the distribution of advertisements that promote the candidacy of a particular person or that refer to an election unless they have the required authorization of the candidate’s business manager or the registered political party’s chief official agent.

However, Section 215 includes an exception to the above requirements where the person establishes that the advertising was distributed:
(a) to gain support for views held by the person on an issue of public policy, or to advance the aims of any organization or association, other than a political party or an organization or association of a partisan political character, of which the person is a member and on whose behalf the expenses were incurred; and

(b) in good faith and not to evade any provisions of this Act.