Role of scrutineers

Candidates can appoint scrutineers to observe the election procedures. The scrutineer must present the Statement of Scrutineer Form (Form 16) to the Presiding Deputy Returning Officer (PDRO) at the voting station.

Scrutineer eligibility

Candidates can appoint persons 18 years of age or over to act as their scrutineers. Scrutineers observe at the voting stations on Election Day and Advance Vote days. A person convicted of an offence under the Local Authorities Election Act, the Elections Act or the Canada Elections Act within the past 10 years cannot be a scrutineer.

Candidates or their official agents can be scrutineers at a voting station.

Can a scrutineer attend more than one voting station?

Scrutineers may attend at more than one voting station for a candidate.

The candidate gives each scrutineer one appointment form. The scrutineer keeps the appointment form. The form is used at each voting station listed on the form. 

Statement of a scrutineer

A scrutineer must make a Statement for the PDRO at every voting station they attend. This Statement is retained by the PDRO. The scrutineer should prepare a statement form for each voting station they plan to attend. 

Number of scrutineers permitted 

A candidate can have one scrutineer in a voting station at a time. The candidate, their official agent and a scrutineer cannot be in a voting station at the same time (only one person at time). The scrutineer does not have to remain at the voting station during the whole of voting hours. A scrutineer may change throughout the day. A scrutineer may come and go from the voting station. 

Candidates speaking with scrutineers at the voting station

The candidate and their official agent or scrutineer are not permitted to be in the voting station at the same time during voting hours or ballot counting. If a candidate or their agent wishes to speak with the scrutineer, it must be outside of the voting station.  

Role of scrutineer at the voting station  

Scrutineers are permitted to observe all parts of the election. Scrutineers may attend more than one voting station. Scrutineers are not permitted to view or interfere with the process of an elector marking a ballot.

The PDRO at the voting station will designate the place from where a scrutineer may observe. The PDRO is mandated by law to maintain the peace and can ask a scrutineer to leave.

A scrutineer may make an objection to a ballot cast by a voter. The scrutineer must make their objection known to the PDRO. A scrutineer may not interfere with a voter casting their ballot. They are still permitted to cast their ballot even when an objection has been made.

The PDRO maintains a record of the objection and the reason for the objection on the elector register.

The objections are considered in decisions on having a recount by the Returning Officer or a judicial recount.

If there is a judicial recount requested, the objection will be evaluated by a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench.

Scrutineers and electors requiring assistance

Candidates, their official agent or scrutineers are not allowed to assist a voter in marking their ballot. 

No campaigning at the voting station 

Campaign material is not allowed in the voting station. Buttons, t-shirts or other material that promotes a candidate is not permitted in the voting station or on voting station property.

The PDRO can require material to be removed from the voting station.

What a scrutineer cannot do

Scrutineers are not allowed to participate in the election process at a voting station. However, scrutineers can cast their own vote if qualified and the voting station is their designated voting station.

They are not permitted to handle the forms, ballots registry of electors, equipment or other items used by election officials. This applies during voting hours and during the count. OBSERVATION ONLY.

Scrutineers are not permitted to view or interfere with the process of an elector marking a ballot.

Scrutineers are not allowed to act as a friend of an elector requiring assistance in marking their ballot. 

At the count 

Candidates, their official agent or scrutineers must be present in the voting station before 8 p.m.  NO ONE is permitted to enter the voting station after 8 p.m.

Scrutineers can observe the process of tabulating during voting hours. They are not permitted to participate in the physical tabulation or touch the ballots or tabulators.

Once tabulation is complete, the PDRO will print and post the tabulator results for scrutineers to view.

Candidates, their official agent or scrutineers may sign the Ballot Account form. This form is the official result of the count of the ballots at the voting station.

Candidates may request a copy of the official Ballot Account from the Retuning Officer after Election Day. 

Institutional and advance vote tabulating

Ballot boxes and tabulators from special (mail-in), institutional and advance voting stations are brought to the Elections Beaumont office at the close of voting for each location.

Scrutineers cannot leave and return during tabulation.

Candidates can only have one scrutineer at this location to observe the tabulation.

Note: The information on this website is provided for the convenience of reference only. Candidates are subject to further requirements in the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA). Candidates are advised to refer to the LAEA and obtain legal advice regarding the full extent of their obligations.