May 1, 2017 – Unless legislation is altered, Saskatchewan will experience an overlap between scheduled provincial and municipal elections in 2020. This will result in significant confusion for voters and is not administratively tenable for provincial and municipal election administrators, says the Chief Electoral Officer of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Michael Boda released a discussion paper today that highlights the election date conflict and offers recommendations for managing the timing conflict.
Municipal election day in Saskatchewan is statutorily scheduled for October 28, 2020. Saskatchewan’s provincial election is legislated to occur on November 2, 2020—just five days later.
“Across the country, elections are increasingly held on set dates to allow citizens to democratically elect their municipal, provincial and federal governments,” says Dr. Michael Boda, Chief Electoral Officer of Saskatchewan. “Unfortunately, the current schedule outlined in legislation for Saskatchewan’s provincial and municipal elections overlaps in the Fall of 2020.”
“This discussion paper offers three options that could resolve the pending 2020 election timing conflict. While any three of these options could be pursued, I believe one most effectively addresses short and long-term concerns with respect to our democratic traditions while supporting our capacity for implementing electoral events in the province,” says Dr. Boda.
“The recommended option would involve delaying the next provincial general election by five months until April 2021 and, thereafter, reverting to the current legal schedule, which requires provincial elections on the first Monday in November every four years. Such an approach would resolve timing issues between federal, provincial and municipal elections for the foreseeable future and reinforce for Saskatchewan residents a consistent period during which they vote in a given year.”
The discussion paper, Resolving the Municipal/Provincial Election Timing Problem in Saskatchewan is “meant to offer insight for policy makers with respect to options available for resolving the timing conflict and describe the logic underlying the recommended approach in light of what would best serve the voters of Saskatchewan,” says Dr. Boda.
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. Find information for voters, workers, media, candidates and parties at www.elections.sk.ca.
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