August 17, 2020 – Voters wanting to cast a ballot in the October provincial election but looking to avoid the polls can start their voting process today. Vote by Mail is an alternative for all voters to voting in person on election day or the five days of advance voting.
Vote by Mail, also known as absentee voting, has been offered in previous Saskatchewan elections. In the 2016 provincial election, around 1 per cent of voters cast their ballot by mail (4,420 absentee ballots out of the 434,244 total votes cast). This option will be available again for the October provincial election.
“During these uncertain times, we want to make sure the public knows about this additional option for voting, particularly to those who feel there is a health risk,” says Dr. Michael Boda, Chief Electoral Officer of Saskatchewan. “We’ve hired additional staff to handle the anticipated increase of vote by mail applications. But deadlines are involved so voters should apply now!”
“Mail-in ballots aren’t new to provincial elections but have traditionally been used by students studying outside the province and snowbirds travelling to warmer locations.”
Voting by mail is a two-step process. Anyone interested in this option is strongly encouraged to start this process today.
Complete an application for a vote by mail ballot. The easiest way to do this is through a new online application tool (www.elections.sk.ca/votebymail) that launched August 17, 2020. Applicants upload a copy of their ID with this tool. The deadline to apply is October 15, 2020, but voters are encouraged to apply online well before October.
Voters also have the option to apply for a vote by mail ballot by calling 1-877-958-8683 and ask for an application to be mailed to them. Once a voter completes this application, they can scan and email it to [email protected], or physically mail or personally deliver it to Elections Saskatchewan head office in Regina.
Once an application is approved, a voting kit will be physically mailed out to the voter. These kits include a ballot to mark and a postage-paid envelope. The voter uses this envelope to mail the completed ballot back to Elections Saskatchewan. Voting kits will be mailed out in late September. Voters can return their ballots as soon as received. All vote by mail ballots must be mailed by no later than 8 p.m. on election day, October 26.
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