Following a member survey and review by the Standing Issue Committee (SIC) on Infrastructure, Transportation and Municipal Affairs, the AAMDC submitted its recommendations regarding the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA) to the Government of Alberta.

Although the AAMDC had anticipated a more timely review of the LAEA, a review still seems to be planned prior to the next municipal election. In anticipation of that review and in an effort to keep it top of mind, the following recommendations have been forwarded:

  •  The term of municipal office should be changed from three year to four years.
  •  The residency clause needs to ensure that a voter only votes once regardless of location. (i.e. one person, one vote in the area you reside)
  •  A requirement for mandatory voter identification (i.e. a physical address) should be included in the Act.
  •  Clarification needs to occur regarding what constitutes valid nomination papers.
  •  Municipal election forms, materials and training need to be updated to ensure alignment with the Act.
  •  The term “official agent” should be reviewed and either clarified or removed.
  •  The special ballot procedure should be reviewed and ensure reasonable protection of privacy.
  •  More research and consideration should be given to Internet and/or telephone voting capability as a means of mitigating voter apathy and increasing access where distance provides a barrier. This should be done sooner than later as it will continue to become an expected reality. However, the use of electronic voting in the future should remain at the discretion of the municipality.
  •  Timeframes for advertising should be reviewed and legislated.
  • Clarification need to occur regarding the requirements and process for designating alternate returning officers.
  •  With regard to campaign contributions and disclosure, it is important to both maintain a balance of consistency across Alberta municipal elections while also acknowledging that one size does not fit all. To that end, a review of the legislation is likely warranted with a view to added ability for municipalities over a certain population (eg. 25,000) to set additional municipal bylaws.
  •  Any changes to the Act should be proclaimed well in advance of the next municipal election.

 

Thank you to all member municipalities that contributed to the survey and the members of the SIC for their contribution.

Michelle Hay
Policy Analyst
780.955.4085

Kim Heyman
Director of Advocacy & Communications
780.955.4079

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