Elections Alberta

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Elections Alberta
Agency overview
Formed 1977
Jurisdiction Elections Act, Election Finance Contributions and Disclosure Act, Senatorial Selection Act
Headquarters 11510 Kingsway NW
Suite 100
Edmonton, Alberta
T5G 2Y5
Annual budget $ 3,785,459 (2014)[1]
Agency executives
Website EAB Homepage

Elections Alberta is an independent, non-partisan office of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta responsible for administering provincial elections, by-elections, referenda within the Province. This is in accordance with the Alberta Election Act.[3] Elections Alberta also oversees political parties and candidates in accordance with the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act.[4]


The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (Elections Alberta), was created in 1977 to act as an independent body to oversee Alberta's Elections Finances and Contribution Disclosure Act and Election Act. Prior to 1977, these acts were overseen by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.[5]


Elections Alberta oversees the creation of political parties and riding associations, compiles election statistics on ridings, and collects financial statements from party candidates and riding associations. It maintains a list of electors, through enumeration that occurs before an election. Elections Alberta is also responsible for enacting legislation relating to elections passed in the Legislative Assembly, including electoral boundary changes and Elections finance laws.[6]


Elections Alberta is tasked with printing and distributing maps and Elections Alberta related campaign materials and guides to candidates and party officials. It is mandated to issue an annual report every year, as well as reports after each election. These reports contain new and deregistered riding associations, party executives and contact information, donations to parties, changes to electors data, election cost by riding and as a whole, the names of returning officers are among the information in annual reports.[7]

Electoral Boundaries Commission[edit]

Electoral boundary changes come from the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission made up of five appointed members, who go and collect input from local residents, politicians and draw up the divisions based on enumeration and census data. A bill is then introduced and voted on in the Legislative Assembly. Minor changes may be made and introduced by members. Changes are then enacted by the chief electoral officer.[citation needed]

An expansion from 83 to 87 ridings was recommended by the commission in June, 2010 and their report with the new riding boundaries will first be in effect for the April 2012 general election.[citation needed]

On recommendation from the Chief Electoral Officer, Glen Resler, Bill 7 was introduced on April 12, 2016 which amends the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act to authorize the appointment of a commission on or before October 31, 2016. This is so that there is sufficient time for Elections Alberta to implement the new boundaries in time for the next election, expected in Spring 2019.[8]

Candidacy Fees and Refunds[edit]

In 1905, the nomination deposit was set at $100, a figure that was well beyond the means of ordinary citizens at the time. Despite inflation, this fee was not changed until 1992 when it was doubled to $200, thus remaining a nominal sum to many Albertans. In 2004, the government controversially increased the required deposit again, to $500, although it became easier to get half of the new deposit back. The government contended that the increase was necessary to deter frivolous candidacies, encourage timely filing of financial statements, and help pay for Elections Alberta's expenses. Some smaller parties argue that an excessively high deposit represents an unacceptable "user fee" on democracy.[citation needed]

Prior to the 2004 general election a candidate received his or her deposit back if he or she was elected or receives at least one half the votes of the elected candidate. Candidates who failed to meet these benchmarks forfeited their deposits. Starting with the 2004 election however, the refund policy described above only applies to half of the new deposit ($250). The other half of the deposit is refunded if the candidate files the required financial statements with Elections Alberta within the prescribed time frame, regardless of how many votes he or she receives. Therefore, a failed candidate who files timely financial statements would lose $250. A change in legislation in 2010 led to the deposit being fully refundable to candidates who file their post-election financial report on time.

Prospective senate nominees are required to deposit $4,000 along with nomination papers signed by 1,500 Albertans. Candidates must be at least 30 years old in accordance with the Constitution of Canada requirement that senators own $4,000 worth of property.[9][10]

Senate Nominees[edit]

Alberta began to hold Alberta Senate nominee elections in 1989 and remains the only province to do so. The three candidates who receive the most votes are recommended to the Canadian prime minister as Senate candidates, but there is no legal or constitutional obligation to appoint them. The Canadian prime minister has appointed three nominees to the Senate: Reform Party member Stan Waters in 1990 by Prime Minister Brian_Mulroney, and Bert Brown in 2007 and Doug Black in 2013, both by Prime Minister Stephen_Harper. The winners of the April 23, 2012 Senate nominee election were all Progressive Conservative Party candidates, Doug Black, Scott Tannas, and Mike Shaikh. Doug Black received the most votes and was consequently appointed to the Senate on January 25, 2013.[11]

Election Costs[edit]

Year of election Total Expenses Electoral Division Cost CEO Office Cost Electors on List Average Cost/elector Turnout Percentage Sources
2001 $3,538,644 $3,029,951 $508,693 1,809,171 $1.96 1,015,844 53.38% [12][13]
2004 $6,844,686 $5,969,844 $874,872 2,001,287 $3.42 894,591 45.12% [14][15]
2008 $10,682,904 $8,150,399 $2,532,505 2,557,269 $4.18 953,777 40.59% [16][17]
2012 $13,631,864 $10,868,158 $2,763,706 2,447,369 $5.57 1,298,174 54.37% [18][19]
2015 $18,987,748 $10,522,827 $8,464,921 2,622,775 $6.73 1,495,404 56.74% [20][21]

Candidates per Election[edit]

Table – Total Candidates in Alberta Elections 2001 - 2015
Year Total Candidates # Electoral Divisions Candidates by Party
Alberta First Alberta Party Communist Evergreen Greens Independent Liberal New
Separation Social Credit Wild Rose Source
2001 318 83 0 16 0 2 0 10 29 83 83 83 0 12 0 [22]
2004 450 83 83 0 4 2 0 49 10 82 83 83 12 42 0 [23]
2008 407 83 0 0 1 2 0 79 7 82 83 83 1 8 61 [24]
2012 429 87 0 0 38 2 25 0 12 87 87 87 1 3 87 [25]
2015 398 87 0 1 35 2 0 24 14 56 87 87 0 6 86 [26]

List of Chief Electoral Officers[edit]

List of Deputy Chief Electoral Officers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Annual Report 2013
  2. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/about-elections-alberta/ Elections Alberta website
  3. ^ http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/e01.pdf Election Act (2000)
  4. ^ http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/E02.pdf Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act (2000)
  5. ^ http://www.assembly.ab.ca/Documents/isysquery/0ee65a7b-f6d0-447b-8343-2219284a5ec5/3/doc/19770513_1000_01_han.pdf#xml=http://www.assembly.ab.ca/Documents/isysquery/0ee65a7b-f6d0-447b-8343-2219284a5ec5/3/hilite/
  6. ^ http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/e01.pdf Elections Act 2000
  7. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/about-elections-alberta/vision-mission-mandate/ Elections Alberta Vision, Mission, Mandate website
  8. ^ https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=4154677C2D03F-F82E-356B-F8BF4C44C17D11EB
  9. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/reports/senate-nominations/ Elections Alberta Senate Nominations report 2004
  10. ^ http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-2.html#h-5 Constitutions Act, 1867 to 1982, Section IV, Article 23.
  11. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012SNErpt.pdf Alberta Senate Nominee Election Report 2012
  12. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/Financial_Addendum.pdf 2004 Elections Report
  13. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/reports/statistics/overall-summary-of-ballots-cast-and-voter-turnout/ Summary of Ballots Cast and Voter Turnout, Elections Alberta
  14. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/reports/general-elections/2004-general-election/ 2004 General Election Report
  15. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/reports/statistics/overall-summary-of-ballots-cast-and-voter-turnout/ Summary of Ballots Cast and Voter Turnout, Elections Alberta
  16. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/Part4.pdf
  17. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/reports/statistics/overall-summary-of-ballots-cast-and-voter-turnout/ Summary of Ballots Cast and Voter Turnout, Elections Alberta
  18. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012_Part3.pdf 2012 Elections Report
  19. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/reports/statistics/overall-summary-of-ballots-cast-and-voter-turnout/ Summary of Ballots Cast and Voter Turnout, Elections Alberta
  20. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/reports/general-elections/2015-general-election/
  21. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/reports/statistics/overall-summary-of-ballots-cast-and-voter-turnout/ Summary of Ballots Cast and Voter Turnout, Elections Alberta
  22. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/reports/general-elections/2001-general-election/ 2001 Election Report
  23. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/reports/general-elections/2004-general-election/#nomcandidate 2004 Election Report
  24. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/Part8.pdf 2008 Election Report
  25. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012_Part3.pdf 2012 Election Report
  26. ^ http://www.elections.ab.ca/reports/statistics/candidate-summary-of-results-general-elections/ Elections Alberta, Summary of Results

External links[edit]