St. Albertans who are anxiously awaiting the result of the province's referendum vote Oct. 18 will have to wait until next week.
Results from the two referendum questions and from the Senate election will not be officially announced until 11 a.m. on Oct. 26.
In an email, Pamela Renwick, acting deputy chief electoral officer for Elections Alberta, said since the referendum vote is being conducted by municipalities, they are responsible for the unofficial count on election night.
“They may release those results publicly if they wish,” she said.
Following election night, the returning officer of each municipality has eight days to consolidate and submit the official results to Elections Alberta.
“In practice, we have asked them to submit all results by Oct. 25, so that we can complete the tabulation and reporting at 11 a.m. on Oct. 26,” said Renwick.
There are two referendum questions.
The first question asked Albertans: Should section 36(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 — Parliament and the government of Canada’s commitment to the principle of making equalization payments — be removed from the Constitution?
A "yes" vote means support for the removal of equalization payments, whereas a vote "no" means support for keeping equalization payments as is.
The Elections Alberta website states the result of this vote is binding only on the provincial government to pursue the action directed by the majority vote.
The result of this vote is under federal jurisdiction, and the federal government is not required to take any action to amend the Constitution Act.
“To remove or amend the Constitution, the federal government and the other provinces and territories would need to enter into discussions about the proposed change,” the website states.
The second question asked Albertans: Do you want Alberta to adopt year-round daylight saving time, which is summer hours, eliminating the need to change our clocks twice a year?
A vote "yes" supports staying permanently on summer hours and no longer changing the clocks back in the fall and forward in the spring.
A vote "no" supports changing the clocks every fall and spring.
Since this question is not a Constitutional question, if the majority vote "yes," the results are binding on the provincial government and the province will eliminate the seasonal time change. However, the province will need time to implement the change to permanent daylight time. The change would not take place until fall 2022.
Albertans also had the opportunity to choose three Senate nominees. The three Senate candidates who receive the most votes will be declared elected, but there is only one open Senate seat available.
The candidates who are elected will be recommended to the federal government. There are no guarantees the elected Senate candidate will be chosen by Ottawa to fill the open Senate seat.
The results for the province as well as each individual municipality will be available online after the official announcement.