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Lesson 7: The Voting Process

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1 Lesson 7: The Voting Process

2 Opening Discussion Have you ever voted for something before?
How was the winner decided? Did you think the process was fair? Why or why not? 2

3 Who is eligible to vote? To be eligible to vote in provincial elections, you must be: A Canadian citizen, At least 18 years of age or older, A resident of Alberta for the past six months.

4 Where do I vote? Each electoral division is divided into smaller areas called polling subdivisions. Eligible voters residing within each polling subdivision vote at the polling station designated for their area. A polling station is the voting location set up for each polling subdivision where citizens go to vote.

5 How do I receive a ballot?
When you arrive at your polling station, the deputy returning officer will ask your name and the poll clerk will check for your name on the list of electors. If your name is on the list, you will be issued a ballot to vote. If your name is not listed, you will be required to produce government issued identification containing your name, photograph and current address prior to being provided with a ballot. 5

6 How does the voting process work?
Once you confirm your eligibility, you are given a ballot that has the election officer’s initials on the back. Go behind a voting screen to mark your ballot. Choose only one candidate on the ballot. Hand your folded ballot back to the election officer to check for the initials. Place your folded ballot in the ballot box.

7 How do I mark my ballot? A ballot lists the names of the candidates and their party association running in your electoral division. Voting is done by secret ballot. No one except the voter knows the choice that was made. The voter must clearly mark the ballot for their single preference for it to be valid (e.g., checkmark, X, shading in) .

8 Rejected, Spoiled and Declined Ballots
A rejected ballot is a ballot that cannot be counted because it was not properly marked. (For example, your ballot is rejected if you try to vote for more than one candidate). A voter may also choose to use their vote to express their dissatisfaction with the options given. This is called a declined ballot. This is done by receiving a ballot, then giving the unmarked ballot back to the poll clerk. The voter states that he or she does not want to vote. A spoiled ballot is one that was kept separate and never placed in the ballot box because it was mistakenly marked or torn and exchanged for a new ballot.

9 What are advance polls? Voters who are away, busy or unable to vote on election day, have the option of participating in advance polls. Advance polls are held prior to election day. Advance polls held from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday prior to polling day.

10 Final Thoughts Are you ready to vote? Why or why not?
What else do you want to know or research before making your decision? How can you encourage eligible voters that you know to cast their ballot?

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