Tie in Edson, Alberta Municipal Election Broken by Draw

This article from the Edson Leader describes a very rare occurence in elections, and the application of one of the most unusual election laws; the breaking of a tie by drawing lots.

What makes this story even more unusual is that two draws were held, after two recounts resulted in two different ties.

The requirement to draw lots in case of a tie comes from section 99 of the Local Authorities Election Act (Alberta):

“If it appears on the calculation of the votes that 2 or more candidates for any office have received the same number of votes, and if it is necessary for determining which candidate is elected, the returning officer shall write the names of those candidates separately on blank sheets of paper of equal size and of the same colour and texture, and after folding the sheets of paper in a uniform manner and so that the names are concealed, shall deposit them in a receptacle and direct some person to withdraw one of the sheets, and the returning officer shall declare the candidate whose name appears on the withdrawn sheet to have one more vote than the other candidate.”

This may seem like an unfair way to decide a close election, but it is one way to avoid having to do another election, as is the case currently in Nunavut.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *