The votes are counted and congratulations and concessions are announced. But in many cases, the results of municipal election day in communities across Alberta don't stop on October 18.
In wards and ridings with narrow margins of victory, the process continues — for months — after the ballots are cast.
According to the Municipal Affairs "Election Checklist Calendar", the election overtime begins with a 44-hour window following the closing of polling stations on October 18. That's the time-period set aside for the returning officer to receive a request for a recount. If a request is approved by noon on the Wednesday after the Monday election, the requested numbers have to be tabulated again... by Friday at noon.
Later that day, if no votes remain contested, an official statement of the election results is released by the returning officer. A signed statement of the results from the returning officer must also be sent to the relevant Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Recounting the recount time
But even with the official results statement, there is still additional time — more than two weeks in fact — for an elector to request a judicial recount. According to the Municipal Affairs calendar, that deadline stretches to November 6.
Other dates of note within the two weeks after the election include the October 26 deadline to complete and tabulate the Senate election results, and the October 27 deadline for the returning officer to return applicable nomination deposits to candidates. New municipal councils are also expected to hold their first organizational meeting to determine committee appointments and deputy-mayor roles by Monday, November 1.
More than a month after the election, November 29 — unless otherwise ordered by a judge — is the first day to destroy election materials. The deadline to have all election materials destroyed — unless it's contrary to any continuing legal notice — is January 10 of 2022, a total of 14 weeks and five days after election day.
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