Scrutineer by Candidate

What is a scrutineer?

A "scrutineer" is defined as a an official examiner, especially of votes in an election. Scrutineers are assigned by candidates to observe the election process and any subsequent recount to ensure that the principles of the Municipal Act, 1996 are upheld with fairness and accuracy. 

One (1) scrutineer may be appointed for each certified candidate for each place of voting. A candidate who has been acclaimed cannot appoint a scrutineer or be in attendance at a polling location unless they are appointed a scrutineer by another candidate.

- There are no age or relation restrictions to be a scrutineer
- You must be appointed by a candidate in writing by completing the Appointment of Scrutineer by Candidate form EL12(a)
- You must complete an oral Oath of Affirmation of Secrecy at the polling location

A scrutineer must present their appointment document to election officials at the polling location.


Actions of the Candidate or Scrutineer at a Polling Location

If the candidate who appointed the scrutineer is present at the polling location, the scrutineer must leave while the candidate is present. Scrutineers may observe, but not interfere with voters, attempt to influence how they vote, or ask a voter how they voted.

Actions of candidates or scrutineers at the polling location are limited to the following:

  • 15-minutes prior to the opening of the poll, they can inspect the ballots and other poll related documents, provided the inspection does not impede the opening of the poll.
  • They can object to a person voting by making the objection to the Deputy Returning Officer before the voter receives their ballot.
  • They can write their name on various sealed ballot envelopes.
  • Upon request, they can be given a certificate of the number of ballots counted for each candidate and rejected ballots.
  • If a candidate or scrutineer arrives after the close of the poll and requests permission to scrutinize the counting of ballots, they must be permitted to enter the polling location.


Download the Appointment of Scrutineer by Candidate form EL12(a). Forms are also available from the Clerk's Department at City Hall.