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Ballot Count

The description of ballot count procedures below is general in nature. Please consult the Election Act for specific legal interpretations.

Preliminary Count on Election Day

Immediately after the close of the poll the Deputy Returning Officer, in full view of those entitled to be present, counts the number of votes for each candidate, giving full opportunity to those present to examine each ballot. This count is recorded in a Statement of Poll for each candidate and is also reported by telephone to election central.

Following the completion of the count the Deputy Returning Officer deposits with the Returning Officer the sealed ballot box, election supplies and polling station materials and a copy of the Statement of Poll for each candidate.

Determination Day

Seven days after Polling Day


The Returning Officer, in the presence of the election clerk and the candidates (or their delegates or agents), tabulates the votes from the Statements of Poll from each polling place (a process called the official addition of the votes) and sends a report, called the recapitulation sheet, to each candidate and to the Chief Electoral Officer.

Judicial Recount

Within four days of distribution of the recapitulation sheet by the Returning Officer, any candidate may apply to the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court for a recount of all ballots cast in the electoral district by filing a petition with the Judge, and depositing with the Chief Judge the sum of $200 as security for the costs of the recount.

Declaration Day

Nine days after Determination Day

Each Returning Officer sends his or her return to the Chief Electoral Officer declaring that the candidate having the largest number of votes in their electoral district has been duly elected.

However, if before that time the Returning Officer receives official notice of a recount, he or she may delay transmitting this return until receiving a certificate from the judge of the result of the recount.

How Ballots are Counted

At a time prescribed by the Returning Officer (following the close of poll) the counting of the ballots commences in the presence of the Deputy Returning Officer, Poll Clerk and candidates' agents and the count proceeds as follows:

  • The Poll Clerk records the number of Ballot Papers received from the Returning Officer in the Statement of Poll,
  • The Poll Clerk records the number of Ballot Papers cast in the Statement of Poll,
  • The Poll Clerk records the number of unused Ballot Papers in the Statement of Poll,
  • Individual Ballots are opened by the Deputy Returning Officer, the Deputy Returning Officer determines if the ballot is a valid ballot and announces the name of the candidate receiving the mark or vote, the Deputy Returning Officer shows the ballot to the officials present to confirm the Deputy Returning Officer's decision,
  • The Poll Clerk marks a vote for the candidate on the Tally sheet,
  • When all the Ballots cast have been inspected and counted the Poll Clerk enters the totals for the following information on the Statement of Poll:
    • Number of Ballots cast for Candidates
    • Number of Rejected Ballots
    • Number of names on the official list of electors for the polling station
  • Following the unofficial count, all documents and ballots are placed in the ballot box and the ballot box is resealed, the officials present must sign the seals with their initials or signatures. Once this process is completed, the ballot boxes cannot be reopened unless by a court order in the presence of a provincial court Judge. Copies of the Statement of Poll are retained by the Deputy Returning Officer. One copy goes to each candidate and a copy to the Returning Officer.
  • The Deputy Returning Officer then phones the total votes cast per candidate (from the Statement of Poll) to Election Central.
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