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Understand

To vote, you must be entered on the list of electors of one of the English-language school boards in Quebec holding an election on September 26.

What is an English-language school board?

Covering an exclusive territory, an English-language school board is a form of local government responsible for managing preschool, elementary and secondary educational institutions, as well as adult education centres and public vocational centres that offer instruction in English.

Some facts about English-language school board elections

  • Eight Québec’s English-language school boards will hold elections on September 26, 2021 to fill the 17 currently vacant seats.
  • A general election was scheduled for November 1, 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the vote from being held and the elections were postponed. In the 2020 process, 6 chair positions and 83 commissioner positions were filled without opposition.
  • During the last general school election for which voters went to the polling booth, on November 2, 2014, the voter turnout for English-language school boards was 16.88%.
  • Electors of Québec’s English-language school boards will have the opportunity to elect certain persons who shall sit on the council of commissioners of their school board. Commissioners are elected by the electors of the electoral division in which they run. The chair of the school board is elected by all electors of the school board.
  • For the purposes of electing commissioners, the territory of each English-language school board is divided into between 8 and 12 electoral divisions, depending on the number of electors.

Conducting elections in the time of COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public health guidelines must be followed when holding elections.

The Ministère de l’Éducation, which is responsible for applying the Act respecting school elections, will define the measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 during the conduct of this election. Returning officers will be announcing the measures in place in their school board in the coming weeks.

What is the role of Élections Québec, the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur and the returning officer?

Neutral and independent, our institution strives to ensure the integrity, transparency and reliability of elections and to promote Québec’s democratic values.

During school elections, our role is to provide advice to the returning officers of English-language school boards, who are responsible for organizing the elections held in their territory. Élections Québec also monitors the political financing and election expenses of candidates in these elections. In addition, we have a mandate to investigate and prosecute breaches of the law.

The Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur is responsible for enforcing legislative provisions1 governing the conduct of elections in English-language school boards.

  1. Act respecting school elections to elect certain members of the boards of directors of English-language school service centres (ASEESSC). Any reference to the ASEESSC refers to the provisions of the Act respecting school elections that were in force prior to the adoption of Bill 40.

The returning officer of an English-language school board oversees the election. In particular, he or she must do the following:

Inform potential candidates and receive their nomination papers

The returning officer must provide information to persons wishing to become candidates. When the day arrives, he or she (or his or her assistant) receives nomination papers from candidates.

Keeping electors informed

The returning officer must keep the relevant electors well informed about the major stages involved in election proceedings, when elections are conducted in his or her English-language school board.

Organizing the election

The returning officer oversees all steps involved in election proceedings in his or her English-language school board.

Remaining available, impartial and fair

In the performance of his or her duties, the returning officer must remain impartial and fair through the entire process. He or she must also be available to fulfil his or her duties during the election proceedings.

Managing the election budget

An election inevitably involves certain costs. The returning officer is responsible for managing the election budget.

Ensuring a smooth polling process

Polling days are the highlights of election proceedings. The returning officer must ensure that polling is conducted in a manner that guarantees electors’ voting rights. He or she must also ensure that electors can freely cast their votes.

What stages are involved in an election period?

Here are the key dates for the 2020 elections in English-language school boards (the election period lasts 45 days).

August 13

Start of the election period

September 17 to 22
Submission period for nomination papers
September 17
Last day for submitting an application for entry on or for seeking changes to the list of electors
September 19
Day of the advance poll
September 26
Polling day

How do I become a candidate?

Read the pages on how to become a candidate and how to form a ticket for the upcoming school elections. Please note that the nomination period is from August 17 to the 22, 2021, at 5 p.m.