Here are 5 interesting facts that you may not know about elections and voting in Alberta:
- Voting is a “Charter Right.” Section 3 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons (i.e. Federal election) or of a legislative assembly (i.e. provincial /territorial election) and to be qualified for membership therein. The Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed that voting rights enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are limited to Federal and Provincial elections and do not extend to other elections. See the case of Baier v. Alberta.
- Incarcerated Prisoners Can Vote. The Supreme Court of Canada decided in 1993 that an attempt to restrict prisoners from having the ability to vote was unconstitutional. See the case of Sauve v. Canada (Attorney General).
- Advance Polls. You do not need a reason to vote an an “advance poll.” You can simply show up and vote without an explanation.
- Corrupt Practices. There are various corrupt practices prohibited by the Election Act in Alberta. For example, it is a corrupt practice to bet on the outcome of an election for the purpose of influencing the election. It is an offence punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 or up to 2 years imprisonment or both. (see sections 170 and 177 of the Election Act)
- You cannot impersonate an election candidate in Alberta. Impersonating an election candidate in an Alberta provincial election is an offence punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 (see section 157(3) of the Election Act (Alberta).
All of us at Patriot Law Group believe that voting is both an important right and a duty as citizen to participate in our democracy. Make sure you get out and vote.