Last updated April 14, 2016
- Voter Eligibility (Who Can Vote)
- Voter Registration
- Voting (How, Where and When to Vote)
- ID to Vote
- Candidates and Parties
- About Elections
- Media, Advertising and Signage Rules
VOTER ELIGIBILITY (Who Can Vote)
Who can vote? Am I eligible to vote?
To vote in the April 4, 2016 provincial election you must:
- Be a Canadian citizen;
- Be at least 18 years old as of April 4, 2016; and
- Have lived in Saskatchewan for at least the six months before the election is called.
Are there any special rules for eligibility for some Saskatchewan voters?
Yes there are special rules for students, military personnel, British subjects and election candidates.
What are the special rules for students?
Students who have moved from outside the province to study in Saskatchewan are immediately eligible to vote in provincial elections, provided they are Canadian citizens and at least 18 years of age. They are not required to have resided in the province for six months.
Students who have been living in Saskatchewan, but have moved to attend a school away from where they have been living, are permitted to register either at the:
- Residential address from which they moved; or at the
- Address of the location where they currently live while studying.
However, each student can only be registered at one address of residence — it is their own personal choice as to which address that should be.
What are the special rules for Canadian Forces Personnel?
Any members of the regular, special or reserve force of the Canadian Forces, who leave another province or territory to serve in Saskatchewan, immediately become eligible to register and vote in provincial elections, provided they are Canadian citizens and at least 18 years of age. They are not required to have resided in the province for six months.
Members of the Canadian Forces who are required to leave their residence in Saskatchewan to serve outside the province are permitted to remain registered as a provincial voter at the address where they resided before moving.
If a Canadian Forces member residing in one location in Saskatchewan is required to relocate and serve within the Forces at another location in the province, may decide which location they wish to be registered at for the purposes of voting. However, each member of the Forces may only be registered as a provincial voter at one address of residence.
In each of the three cases above, if a spouse or the dependents of a Forces member move with that member they are legally provided the same voter registration flexibility that applies to the Forces member.
What are the special rules for British Subjects?
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.
What are the special rules for election candidates?
A candidate for a provincial election, or the spouse or dependents of that candidate, can choose to be registered:
- At the address in which they ordinarily live, or
- In any polling division in the constituency in which the candidate is contesting the election.
Taking the option of registering in a particular polling division within a constituency in which the candidate is running can only be exercised once the candidate’s nomination papers have been accepted by the returning officer. This does not happen until nomination day, which is a full 10 days after the election period officially starts.
If I have dual citizenship with Canada and another country, may I vote and retain my dual citizenship?
As a Canadian citizen you are allowed to vote in Canada.
If I am a permanent resident, can I vote?
You must be a Canadian citizen to vote in Canada.
If I am an immigrant, can I vote?
You must be a Canadian citizen to vote in Canada.
If I am a refugee, can I vote?
You must be a Canadian citizen to vote in Canada.
How do I register to vote?
You can register to vote for the April 4 provincial election by visiting our voter registration page or by calling 1-877-958-8683.
If you don't get on the list before the election begins, you can still have your name added to the list during the revision period, or on election day by going to your polling station.
How do I know if I’m registered to vote?
I received a voter registration letter in June 2015. Why were you registering voters then?
At that time, Elections Saskatchewan was preparing for a possible November 2015 provincial election. We were legally required to register eligible voters in advance of the next provincial election, which we now know is set for April 4, 2016.
How will my voter registration information be used?
Registered voters will be advised via mail of the dates, times and locations of advance and regular voting sites established in their community. 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 also receive a copy of the voters lists.
Will my voter information be stored or re-used?
Yes, your information will be stored in our register of voters for use in future provincial elections.
How will my voter information be shared?
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.
How does Elections Saskatchewan protect my privacy?
Elections Saskatchewan takes privacy, and the protection of it, seriously. All election workers are 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.
What if I don’t want to be registered?
You may request to be excluded from registration during the current voter registration process. 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 voting place.
How do I remove my name from the register of voters?
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.
Where did you get my information from?
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.
Why did my deceased relative get a Voter Information Card?
We’re sorry that happened. We will remove their name from the list. Please either call us at 1-877-958-8683 or email us at email@example.com
I’ve never voted in a provincial election. How did you get my information?
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.
Why can’t I just wait and register when I come to vote on April 4?
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 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.
Why are you asking for occupation?
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.
Why are you asking for my birthday?
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.
Why are you asking for my middle name?
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.
Why is no one coming to my door to register me or enumerate me?
Through the information sharing agreement between Elections Canada and Elections Saskatchewan, the majority of federally registered voters were added to the provincial register of voters without the need for a province-wide door-to-door enumeration. So all Saskatchewan voters were enumerated in one form or another.
Why did my friend have someone come to the door to register them and I didn’t?
There are some targeted areas in Saskatchewan that require an in-person, door-to-door enumeration, such as areas of new development and high mobility.
What if I am not on the voters list by the close of revision?
If you do not get on the voters list before the close of revision, but are an eligible voter, you still have an opportunity to vote. You can register at your polling station on election day. Alternatively, you can sign a declaration and a registered voter from your constituency, such as a neighbour or roommate, may vouch for you. Each person can only vouch for one other individual.
You can find where to vote on our website with our Where To Vote tool
. And remember, you need to show ID to vote
What is a Voter Information Card (VIC)?
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 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 voter information card (VIC) which will be mailed to you in early March 2016, during the election period. If you updated or registered to vote before March 22 and provided us with your email address, you can receive a Voter Information Card by email. The VIC that is emailed to you can be printed (it does not have to be printed in colour) or show it to the poll official on your phone.
In my Voter Information Card (VIC) package that came in the mail, I received a VIC for someone who no longer lives here. What should I do with it?
Simply discard it. Rip it up and recycle. Do not mail it back.
Will I still receive a Voter Information Card in the mail?
Our voter information cards have been printed and have been mailed at the end of Feburary. If you updated or changed your information up until March 22 and provided us with your email address, you can receive a Voter Information Card by email. The VIC that is emailed to you can be printed (it does not have to be printed in colour) or show it to the poll official on your phone.It still must be accompanied by ID
When it is emailed to me do I have to print the Voter Information Card or can I simply display it on my phone?
You can either print it (it does not have to be in colour) or show it to the poll official on your phone.
Can a VIC be used as ID in order to vote?
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.
I did not receive a VIC. How do I know where to vote?
I received my VIC but my information is not correct or the voting place it tells me to vote at is far across town. How do I correct this and find out the right polling location?
What does Elections Saskatchewan do with Voter Information Cards (VIC) after a voter votes?
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)
When do I vote?
There are several days, times and ways to vote. You can read about them on our Ways To Vote page
Where do I vote if I live in a personal care home or personal care facility?
You can read about voting in a personal care home or personal care facility on our Ways To Vote page
Where do I vote if I am a patient in a hospital on election day?
I'm a Saskatchewan resident living abroad. How do I vote?
I'm a member of the Canadian Forces. How do I vote?
I'm serving a prison sentence. Can I vote?
I'm homeless or I have no fixed address. How do I vote?
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.
How do I apply to vote in my home?
If I belong to a First Nation but I live off reserve, do I have to return to my First Nation to vote?
No. In Saskatchewan provincial elections you vote in the constituency in which you ordinarily reside on the day the election is called.
I’m a student. Where do I vote if I'm away at school?
If you are from Saskatchewan and you are pursuing a course of study away from home but within the province, you may vote either in the polling division where you lived before you left for school or in the polling division where your new residence is located. For example, if you grew up in La Ronge, but are attending school in Swift Current, you could vote in La Ronge (Cumberland constituency) or Swift Current. It is up to you to choose where you want to vote, but you can only vote in one place.
I’m a student. Can I vote on campus?
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.
My voting place is too busy or tough to get too. Why can’t I vote at any voting place I choose?
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 in early March. If you did not receive one I can tell you where you vote and what your polling station number is. And you can vote in advance voting at any poll location within your constituency.
Why do I now have to drive so much further to where I vote?
The constituency boundaries have changed since the 2011 provincial election which may have resulted in some voters now having to travel further or also a shorter distance to their voting location.
Why is there no electronic voting like some cities in Saskatchewan use in municipal elections?
There is currently no legislative authority for Elections Saskatchewan to use electronic voting machines.
Why can’t we vote online or over the Internet? I can bank online, why can’t I vote?
At this time, Elections Saskatchewan is not legally allowed to offer online voting or voting over the Internet.
On election day where do I go to vote?
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.
Where do I vote if I move after the election is called but before election day?
Please call 1-877-958-8683 and we can update your information and tell you where to vote.
Do I get time off work 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.
What if I am out of the province on election day?
What happens when I am at the polling/voting station?
- When you arrive at your voting location, an election worker greets you and directs you to the right table.
- If you are already registered you show your ID and your name is crossed off the voters list.
- 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.
- You are handed a ballot.
- 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.
- Hand it back to an election worker. They will show you what ballot box to put it in.
- That’s it. You’ve voted.
What is a polling division?
Constituencies are divided into polling divisions of roughly 300 voters. A voters list is prepared and a polling place is established for each division.
How do I find out what constituency I live in?
Where can I obtain electoral maps?
What happens after I vote?
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 election day, these 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 election, when all absentee, hospital, and remand centre ballots have been received.
What happens in the event of a tie?
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.
What happens to the ballots after an election?
The ballots are sealed in envelopes which remain sealed for a period of one year, after which they are destroyed.
ID TO VOTE
What ID do I need to bring with me 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- At the voting station, you can sign a declaration, and a registered voter from your constituency, such as a neighbour or roommate, may vouch for you. Each person can only vouch for one other individual.
My utility bills only come to me now by ebill, not in printed form. Can I show you a copy of my ebill on my smartphone inside the voting place?
Yes, an electronic copy of your ID, such as a utility bill, is acceptable.
How do I prove my identity and address when I go to vote? What are the options for acceptable ID?
What if I don’t have ID? Can I still vote?
Yes, by vouching. At the voting station, you can sign a declaration, and a registered voter from your constituency who knows you, such as a neighbour or roommate, may vouch for you. Each person can only vouch for one other individual.
What if my ID is not in English?
As long as your name and address is on an acceptable form of ID, this is acceptable regardless of the language.
Is voting accessible?
Yes. We are committed to including all citizens 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 election day does not work for you, please see the other ways to vote listed in this guide. For more on voting options, contact your local returning office as accommodations can often be made if planned in advance.
You can learn more about how Elections Saskatchewan is making voting accessible at elections.sk.ca/accessibility
Are all polls accessible?
The vast majority of voting places are accessible. Anyone needing assistance voting should look at the voter information card (VIC) and look for the accessibility symbol by the voting location. This indicates whether that specific voting place is accessible.
I need assistance. My VIC shows that my voting place is not accessible. What do I do?
There are many options for casting a ballot even if your voting place is not accessible, such as:
How do I find out if my poll is accessible?
Each voting place will have on hand:
- Pencil grips
- 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
None of these solutions you are offering work for me. What can you do for me?
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.
How are you making voting material accessible for all?
Key voting material, such as the voters guide and the voter information letter, will all be available:
- In alternative languages
- In audio and/or video formats
- In large print formats
CANDIDATES AND PARTIES
How do I become a candidate?
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 your constituency, and
- pay a $100 nomination deposit
Before seeking nomination or being a candidate in a provincial 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.
When is the deadline to nominate a candidate?
The latest possible day is March 19, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
Where can I find all the candidate guides and forms?
I am a candidate or business manager. Who do I contact if I have questions?
We have a dedicated support line set up specifically for business managers and candidates. 1-866-247-5404.
How many political parties are there?
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.)
You can find more information about these political parties on our website.
Are there contribution limits in a Saskatchewan election?
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
Are there expenditure limits for candidates and parties?
Are the fiscal returns of political parties in Saskatchewan made public?
Will Elections Saskatchewan be releasing the candidate returns after the April 4 election?
Yes we will. The candidate returns of election expenses will be posted on our website after they are received from the candidates.
How can people apply to work for the 2016 provincial election?
What types of jobs do you require for the election?
- Deputy Returning Officer (DRO)
- Poll Clerk (PC)
- Supervisory Deputy Returning Officer (SDRO)
- Information Officer (IO)
- Registration Officer (RegO)
- Security Officer
Job descriptions and requirements for these positions are available at: http://www.elections.sk.ca/workers/election-jobs/.
What is a returning officer (RO)?
A resident within a constituency appointed by the Chief Electoral Officer to administer an election in that constituency.
What is a supervisory returning officer (SRO)?
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.
What is a deputy returning officer?
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.
When does the returning offices open to the public?
Are there any requirements to work at the election?
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.
Can I have more than one job during the election?
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.
Do I have to pass a test?
No, there is no test for election workers. Training will be provided and all election workers need to be present for the training.
Is their training for these positions?
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.
Do I have to wear anything specific to work the election?
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.
Do you get paid to work for the election?
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
Can I work before the election?
Yes, there are positions available in returning offices.
When do I get paid?
If you worked on election day, your paycheque will be produced and mailed to you on April 18.
Is there any income tax taken off my cheque?
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.
Can I donate my wages from working the election to a charity?
This April, we are offering a new opportunity for election day workers to double the difference they make in their community. We are calling it Give a day for democracy. Any individual who works on election day can choose to donate their election day pay directly to a charity of their choice. At the election training sessions, workers simply fill out a form to direct their pay to any registered charity.
You can read all about Take Part
If I donate my pay to charity, when will the charity receive the money?
The charity you selected should receive their funds around April 18, 2016.
If I donated my pay to charity, when and how will I receive my tax receipt?
You will receive a charitable tax receipt by email from CanadaHelps immediately after the payment to the charity has been processed.
Do I get a T4?
Yes, T4s will be issued in February 2017 to election workers and other employees who earned $500 or more in the 2016 calendar year.
Do you advertise for the jobs or contact people from previous workers list?
Yes to both. We sent a letter to a list of election workers from our 2011 Provincial Election asking them if they were interested in working the next provincial election. We will also be advertising for workers in print media, on universities campuses, online, via social media, through our local returning officers in each constituency, and through targeted relationships with groups like service organizations and faith communities.
What is Elections Saskatchewan?
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. Information for voters, workers, media, candidates and parties at www.elections.sk.ca
What is a provincial election?
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.
What is a constituency?
A constituency is the geographic area that each Member of the Legislative Assembly represents. For the next general election on April 4, Saskatchewan will be divided into 61 constituencies.
How do I find out what constituency I live in?
What was the voter turnout in previous Saskatchewan elections?
Recent voter turnout is as follows:
- 2011 general election 66.69%
- 2007 general election 76.02%
- 2003 general election 70.95%
- 1999 general election 65.50%
Are liquor stores and hotel vendors open on election day?
MEDIA AND ADVERTISING RULES
Are there rules for media and advertisers during election campaigns?
Yes, The Election Act, 1996
sets the rules for the provincial electoral process, including rules that apply to media and advertisers during election campaigns.
What is authorized advertising?
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..
Where can lawn signs, billboards and other advertising signage go?
Is it legal to take down candidate signs?
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.
Does The Election Act, 1996 restrict where election signs can be placed?
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 (which would be election day, April 4, and the advance voting days, March 29 to April 2) within 50 feet of a polling place.
Can campaigning and advertising take place on election day?
Yes, The Election Act, 1996
does not restrict advertising on 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.
Can media interview a returning officer or other election workers?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Can media take photos or record video at a voting place on election day?
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.
Do radio or TV commercials have to include a disclaimer that, “This message is authorized by person X of party X”?
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.
What is Elections Saskatchewan doing to tell people about the provincial election?
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;
- What constituency they live in;
- Where candidate names and information can be found;
- Where and when to vote;
- The options for how to vote (election day, advance, by mail, homebound, etc.);
- What ID is acceptable that shows both their name and address.
How is Elections Saskatchewan encouraging people to vote?
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 languages and 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;
- Redesigning the voter information card (VIC) to be more easily read and streamlined with only the essential information that a voter needs;
- Making voting accessible
- Working with post-secondary institutions and First Nations communities on voter registration, setting up voting stations, and election day work opportunities
Are there rules on the access that candidates and party representatives have to condo buildings and apartment buildings?
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.
What is a candidate's representative and what does he or she do?
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.
Can opinion polls be published or broadcast during a provincial election?
Yes. Opinion polls may be conducted and the results made available to the public at any time during the election.
Does a third party have to register to advertise during a provincial election? Are there any rules concerning third party ads?
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.