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Alberta's Election History

Constituencies

The difficult decisions surrounding an election are not all made by voters.  One of these decisions is how to divide the province into voting districts or constituencies, each of which has one MLA.  Constituency boundary lines are normally determined by a special body called the Electoral Boundaries Commission.

The commission draws the boundaries on the basis of population, common community interests, geographical area, natural boundaries such as rivers, and other considerations.  Its decisions are guided by a law called the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act.  According to the Act, the commission must evaluate and recommend any changes to the present boundaries following every second provincial election.  These changes must become part of a new Act before they can take effect.  This Act is introduced in the Assembly; then members debate it and finally vote on it.

One of the busiest offices around election time is Elections Alberta, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer.  This office divides constituencies into polling districts (so that voters don't have to go a long way to cast their ballots), hires enumerators to count the voters and returning officers to count the votes, makes sure voting is conducted according to the rules, takes care of all election paperwork, and, finally, issues the official election results.

Constituencies and boundary rules are constantly changing. For the most current information on Alberta's constituencies and boundary rules, please visit the Elections Alberta website!

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Reprinted from the Teacher's Guide to the Alberta Legislature, 1993 with permission from the Legislative Assembly Office.


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