Elections of the members to the Yukon Legislative Assembly are the responsibility of the chief electoral officer of Yukon, who is selected by the members of the Legislative Assembly. For each electoral district, a returning officer is appointed to run the election of one member. Returning officers report to the chief electoral officer.
In 1978, two important changes took place in elections. The first change was that the conduct of elections was again the responsibility of Yukon. For a number of years the chief electoral officer for Canada ran elections of members to the territorial council or, as it is now called, the Legislative Assembly.
The second change was that for the first time candidates would be identified with political parties.
Some facts about Yukon elections:
Who calls an election?
The premier of Yukon decides when a by-election or a general election will take place. Before a general election is called, the legislature is dissolved.
When is the next election?
The last general election was October 11, 2011. A general election usually takes place every three to five years. A by-election is necessary if a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Yukon resigns or dies. It must be called within 180 days of the date on which the seat became vacant.
How many members are there?
There are 19 members.
Who runs elections?
A chief electoral officer is appointed by the Commissioner in Executive Council. One returning officer is appointed by the chief electoral officer for each electoral district. Returning officers report to the chief electoral officer and only work during elections.
Who can be a candidate?
You can be a candidate in an electoral district if you:
A candidate can be nominated by a political party or be an independent candidate.
You will need an official agent to make sure your campaign expenses are paid. The official agent can also issue tax credit receipts for contributions to your campaign. (See Campaign Financing)
Before nominations close on nomination day, you need to file a nomination paper. It must be signed by 25 or more qualified voters, name your official agent, and along with $200, be filed with the returning officer for the electoral district in which you are running. If your nomination paper is accepted by the returning officer, you are a candidate.
How can I get a nomination paper?
You can get a nomination paper from the returning office in your electoral district.
What is an electoral district?
An electoral district is an area in which voters live and are represented by one elected member in the Legislative Assembly. Each electoral district is divided into polling divisions. (See Maps)
How many electoral districts are there?
Who decides how many electoral districts there will be?
An electoral district boundaries commission recommends the number of electoral districts. Any changes to the boundaries are legislated by the Legislative Assembly. (See Electoral District Boundaries Commissions)
How can I get a map of the electoral districts?
You can get a map of each electoral district or a large map showing all the electoral districts in the Yukon. Phone, write or e-mail the Elections Office. The maps are free.
How many political parties are there?
There are five political parties registered with the chief electoral officer. They are:
How can I register a political party?
You should contact Elections Yukon and ask for forms and information you need to register the party. A registration also needs the signatures of at least 100 party members who are qualified to vote in an election.
Can I vote?
You can vote if on polling day you:
How can I register to vote?
When the election is called, enumerators will be going to every residence in your electoral district to get the names of people who are qualified to vote.
If the enumerators cannot get your name and the names of qualified voters who live with you, you can have your name added during revision or you can go to a special revision. Special revision starts after revision ends. You should telephone the Elections Office for the times and locations for adding your name to the list of voters or click here when an election is on.
I do not want someone to know where I live. How can I vote if my name has to be on a list?
You can apply to the returning officer to vote without your name and address being on the list.
I work in the Yukon from April to October. Can I vote in an election?
You will have to decide where you live.
I keep an apartment in Whitehorse. I live most of the time at my cabin which is in another electoral district. Where do I vote?
You will have to decide in which electoral district you want to vote. You may have to get your name on the list yourself. Enumerators can only take your name for their electoral district.
Proxy Voting and Special Voting
If I am on vacation and not in the Yukon when an election is called, how can I vote?
I am going to university outside the Yukon. How can I vote?
You can have someone vote for you, or apply to vote by special ballot.
You and your proxy voter both must be on the list and you must complete a proxy application. After the proxy application is filled in it must be delivered to the returning officer for a proxy certificate.
When an election is called, proxy applications are available from the returning officer and from the enumerators.
You can apply to vote by special ballot if you will not be able to vote in person on polling day or at the advance poll. Special ballot applications are available at returning offices and from the enumerators.
I live in Mayo. I am going to school in Whitehorse. Where can I vote?
You can have your name added to the list in Mayo or in Whitehorse. If you have your name added to the list in Mayo, you can apply to vote by special ballot. Your application should be sent to the returning office in Mayo. A special ballot will be mailed or delivered to you. You must return the marked ballot paper before 2:00 pm on polling day.
I cannot leave my house to vote. How can I get a ballot?
You can vote by special ballot. Ask the enumerators for an application or phone the Elections Office. The phone number is on the voter's guide.
I moved to another electoral district after I was enumerated. Where do I vote?
If you cannot get your name added to the list for the other electoral district during revision, you can vote only where you were enumerated.
Can I leave work to vote?
Your employer is required to give you four hours to vote.
Where do I go to vote?
When you are enumerated or have your name added to the list you will receive a voter's guide which tells you the location of your polling place. On polling day, the polling place is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Each polling place will have polling stations which consist of two election officials, a ballot box and ballot papers, and representatives of the candidates.
You can vote at the advance poll if you are going to be away on polling day. The advance poll is open from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the 7th and 8th days before polling day.
What do I have to do at the polling place?
At your polling station, one election official, the poll clerk, will ask your name and address. The other election official, the deputy returning officer, will hand you a folded ballot paper and tell you to mark it for one candidate only.
If you have to take a declaration before you get your ballot paper, it will be read to you.
How do I mark my ballot paper?
A polling booth is set up for you to privately mark your ballot paper. You should mark your ballot paper with an "X" in the circle beside the name of the candidate you are voting for. If you put any other mark on the ballot paper, it may not be counted.
Re-fold your ballot paper and take it to the deputy returning officer. This person will remove the numbered piece of paper on the ballot paper and put it in the ballot box.