Election words explained


Absentee voting – Absentee voting applies to voters who are going to be away during an election.
Advance voting – For those who want to vote early, special advance voting locations are open during the week before election day.


Ballot – A ballot is the piece of paper a voter uses to vote. This is done by marking an “X” in the circle beside the name of the candidate he/she chooses.
Ballot box – The ballot box is where voters put their ballot after voting. At the end of election day, election workers open the ballot boxes and count (or tally) the votes/ballots.


Campaign – A campaign is a candidate’s plan of how he/she intends to win the election.
Candidate – A person who is trying to get elected. In a Manitoba provincial election, candidates are trying to get elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA).


Debate – A formal, public meeting where the candidates discuss and argue about the things that they think are important to voters.
Declined – The word you write on the front of your ballot when you don’t wish to vote for any of the candidates.


Election – When people choose the person who represents them in government by voting.
Elections Manitoba – The independent agency that is responsible for running provincial elections and by-elections.
Electoral divisions – Manitoba is divided into 57 electoral divisions. About the same number of people live in each electoral division. A Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) is elected to represent the voters in each division.
Enumerator – The elections official who visits your home to add the names of people who can vote to the Voters List.


Homebound voting – Homebound voting is available to eligible voters unable to get to a voting place because of a disability. Homebound voting is also available to their caregivers.


Platform – A platform is made up of the ideas and goals of a candidate and/or political party. Voters learn about platforms in order to help them decide how to vote.
Political party – An organization of people who have similar interests, beliefs and goals about the things that are important to the country, their province or city/town. One of its purposes is to nominate and support candidates during an election.
Premier – The Premier is the head of the provincial government. Before an election, each political party chooses a leader. The leader of the political party that has the most candidates elected becomes the Premier.


Returning officer – The person hired by Elections Manitoba to manage the election activities in each of the 57 electoral divisions.


Voters List – The list of eligible voters created through enumeration. It is used during the election to track that each voter only votes once..
Voting place – Location where people vote.
Voting screen – Voters stand behind a screen when voting to guard privacy. Instructions on how to mark the ballot are written inside the screen as a reminder to the voter. Using the voting screen ensures a voter’s choice is kept secret.


The writ is dropped – The writ is dropped is the expression used when an election is called. The paper signed by the Chief Electoral Officer (head of Elections Manitoba) is called the writ.

  • Provincial Election
    April 19, 2016
  • sticker
    Make sure your aspiring voter gets an Official Future Voter sticker this election. Bring your child with you when you vote!
    Veillez à ce que votre futur électeur reçoive son autocollant officiel « Futur électeur » lors des élections. Faites-vous accompagner par votre enfant lorsque vous allez voter!