October 17, 2020 – A record number of Saskatchewan voters have chosen to vote by mail this provincial election.
A total of 61,412 vote by mail applications have been approved by Elections Saskatchewan. The deadline to apply to vote by mail was 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 15. Those voters have either already received their vote by mail voting kit or can expect to within the week. Their next step is to mark their ballot, place it in the envelopes provided, and place it in the mail by 8 p.m. on October 26.
Click here for a short video on how safe and secure a vote by mail ballot is in Saskatchewan.
“Elections Saskatchewan wanted to ensure that voters who feel they are immunocompromised or are concerned about visiting an in-person poll under the current circumstances have another safe and secure option to cast their ballot,” says Dr. Michael Boda, Chief Electoral Officer of Saskatchewan.
“Beginning in August, our team took steps to significantly increase our capacity to serve voters through a vote by mail process. Additional staff were hired this summer and fall to manage the vote by mail applications. It has been and continues to be an incredibly busy time for our team, and more work lies ahead as ballots are received, adjudicated and counted.”
The 61,412 vote by mail applications approved is an extraordinary increase from the 4,420 vote by mail ballots (also called absentee ballots) that were returned and counted in the 2016 General Election. Historical absentee ballot counts can be found at www.elections.sk.ca/media/absentee-ballots-counted-current-and-historical/.
Vote by mail ballots are traditionally counted during a Final Count held 12 days following Election Day. Given the increase in vote by mail ballots, the Chief Electoral Officer has stated that vote by mail counting will instead begin 2 days following election day with vote by mail ballots received by 8 p.m. on Election Day being counted at that time. The remainder of vote by mail ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day, and received by 10 days following Election Day, will be counted beginning at the Final Count.
Media Briefing on Counting the Ballots
A media briefing on the counting of ballots has been arranged for Thursday, October 22 at 1:00 p.m. A detailed GoToMeeting invitation will be sent in the coming days. Media are encouraged to invite their on-air election night anchors, hosts and guests to join Dr. Boda for this briefing to increase awareness of what is counted during the First Preliminary Count (Election Night on October 26), what is included in the Second Preliminary Count (beginning October 28), and what is included during the Final Count (beginning November 7).
Elections Saskatchewan (ESK) is the province’s nonpartisan election management body and an independent office of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. ESK directs and supervises the administration of provincial electoral events, including the 2020 provincial election.
Information for voters, workers, media, candidates and parties at www.elections.sk.ca.
For more information contact:
Senior Director, Outreach & Communications