Special Ballots Backgrounder
Special (mail-in) Ballots were offered for the first time in 2007 to allow qualified electors to cast a ballot if they were unable to vote during the Advance Vote or on Election Day due to:
- physical incapacity;
- absence from the local jurisdiction;
- being a candidate, official agent or scrutineer; or
- working for the election.
Prior to the introduction of Special Ballots, Edmonton Elections provided an At Home Vote for shut-ins and those unable to leave their homes to vote. The At Home Vote is no longer available.
The Special Ballot is a convenient and efficient option that allows electors to vote at any time after Nomination Day.
How does the Special Ballot option work?
Requests for Special Ballots
Requests can be made in writing, by phone, fax, e-mail or in person.
Requests are entered in the Special Ballot Voter Register, an Access Database with scripted prompts by authorized users, and confirmation of the requests are filed.
Special requests for delivery options are noted as comments in the register and on a spreadsheet, for ease of referral at time of printing of the packages.
Some requests are taken by 311 operators and entered online, and then processed as above.
The first batch of ballot packages is printed in September with priority based on destination and mode of delivery.
Each ballot package comprises six documents: pre-printed Instruction Sheet, Return Envelope, and official ballot (initialled for verification); and system-printed Secrecy Envelope A, Certificate Envelope B, and Mailing Envelope C.
Packages for mailing are delivered directly to Canada Post, and packages for pick up are retained in a securely-locked area at the Election Office or at the Office of the City Clerk, 3rd Floor, City Hall.
On return, envelopes are date stamped and retained in the secured area. Ballots are retained in their secrecy envelopes, sorted by ward, and kept in a secured area.
At 7 pm on Election Day, return envelopes are picked up from the Canada Post Processing plant and from City Hall, and delivered to the Election Office for processing as above.
Thereafter all ballots (excluding rejected ballots) are fed through the designated DS200 vote tabulator.
The key is turned for the final vote tabulation, and results are provided to Election Central and the media.