Amendment to Section 141 of the Local Government Elections Act, 2015

Res #: 15-21A
Number: 15
Year: 2021
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

WHEREAS Section 141 of The Local Government Elections Act, 2015 (LGEA) allows for guidance on a tied vote.  The direction provided states to write names of the tied candidates on separate blank sheets of paper of equal size, colour and texture and fold them all the same and deposit them into a receptacle where a name is to be drawn to determine who is elected; and
WHEREAS the rural municipality has gone through weeks of election preparation and expense notifying eligible voters about the details of the election that is going to take place; and
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM Lobby the provincial government to amend Section 141 of the Local Government Elections Act to make it more democratic, to make the results of a tied vote better reflect the opinions and interests of voters and to help strengthen the voice of voters; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED to amend Section 141 of the LGEA which would allow the returning officer to postpone the declaration of results until after the preparations and election procedures of a second ballot.  Only the names of the tied voters should be on the second ballot.  If the second ballot is tied, repeat steps of another ballot until a declaration can be made.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

April 23, 2021

  • In 2009, The Local Government Election Act (since replaced by The Local Government Election Act, 2015) was amended to provide that in situations where there is a tie vote for reeve/councillor of a rural municipality, the person declared elected would be determined by whose name is drawn out of a receptacle. Similar authority had already existed for urban and northern municipal elections.
  • SARM supported this change as it allowed for the position of reeve/councillor to be filled quickly and avoided rural municipalities incurring the additional cost of holding a by-election to fill the vacant position. It also made the policy in these situations consistent for all types of municipalities.
  • The Ministry of Government Relations can consider the request when The Local Government Election Act, 2015 is next opened for amendment, and would consult further with municipal and education sectors.

Hon. Don McMorris – Minister of Government Relations