Frequently Asked Questions
1. I have been accepted as a member of a First Nation but still consider myself Metis, may I vote in the election?
No, only citizens may vote. Article IV, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution expressly provides for termination of membership upon:
3. The entry of the member’s name in a Band list or in the Indian Register according to the provisions of the Indian Act, R.S.C., c.1-6, as amended.
2. If I cannot vote may I still run for office?
No only qualified electors may run for office.
3. I live in Winnipeg, but I belong to a local in another region, where do I vote?
Each person may only belong to one local at a time. A person remains with the local they originally joined until they change that designation. That change MUST be done before an election is called. After the call of an election you must vote in the local of which you are a member (the local in the other region).
4. I live in Brandon, but I belong to a local in another region, where am I allowed to run for office?
If you are running for President you may reside in any region of the Province but must be a citizen and a resident of Manitoba. If you are running for a regional position, you may only run for office in the region in which the local to which you belong is located. So, you may not, in this example, run in the Southwest Region but can only run in the Region of which you are a member. Moreover, you must be a resident of that region. Article IX (2) provides:
To run for the position of Regional Vice-President or Board Member in a Region, a person must be a member of a Local within that Region and reside in that Region.
However, if you reside outside your region, you may still run. In order to run, you make a written undertaking to the CEO that, if elected, you will become a resident of the Region within 6 months. If you fail to change residence as undertaken, your position will be declared vacant and a new election will be held.
5. I believe that a candidate is not qualified, what do I do?
Any elector may file an objection against any candidate within 7 days of the close of nominations. The filing must be in writing and must provide sufficient proof that a prima facie case can be made out from those documents. If the documents meet that criteria, a hearing will be set and evidence called. The CEO will have counsel who will lead the proceedings. At the end of calling evidence each party, and counsel or the CEO, will make submissions and the CEO will rule on the eligibility of the candidate.
6. My name isn’t on the preliminary voter’s list, what can I do? What happens after the Final Voter’s List is prepared (22 days after the call of the election)?
If are not a citizen, you must immediately the Citizenship Registry Office (CRO) or contact your regional office (who have CRO personnel) and apply for citizenship. If you apply before the election is called and your name is added to the Citizenship List your name will be added to the voters list.
If you are a citizen, you must contact the CEO, your RRO, or CRO to advise there is a clerical error. CRO is responsible for the list. If they verify, in accordance with their procedures, that you are a citizen they
will advise the CEO that you are a member and your name should be added to the final voter’s list.
After the Final Voter’s List is prepared, only persons who apply in writing to the CEO, and whose name was missed solely by a clerical error, will be added to the voter’s list.
The onus throughout is on the individual to provide sufficient proof that they are eligible to vote.
7. Do I need identification to vote?
Yes. Article XXVI requires that every person voting must provide identification prior to voting. A MMF card issued after September 10, 2009 is the best identification but other forms of identification are acceptable.
Generally, identification issued by a Government that has a photo will be accepted as will evidence that you are the person listed in the poll book (final voters list) which could not be reasonably obtained by another person and which confirms your identity.
8. I live in Alberta, can I vote in an election? Can I run for office?
There is nothing that prevents a person who is not a resident of Manitoba from voting. If an amendment passes at the AGA you will be able to vote by mail-in ballot or in-person in your region at an Advance poll or at your local on election day.
Once you apply for a mail-in ballot you will not be allowed to vote in-person.
Members who are not resident in Manitoba may NOT run for office. The Election bylaw provides:
Article IX. 1. Only members of the MMF who are residents of Manitoba are entitled to stand for election.
Residency is a fairly complex legal term and if you are uncertain if you are a resident you should check with the CEO before you file your papers.
9. I believe that I meet the qualifications for office but I don’t have any documentation, what happens next?
The CEO will ask the MMF Home Office to determine if there are records that confirm your qualifications. These might include records provided by a local, Board minutes, Regional meeting minutes or other like documents.
However, they will need assistance and it is incumbent upon the potential candidate to provide as much information as they can to narrow the search. If no records can be found, other evidence such as affidavits from persons known to be executive officers of the same local or past members of the MMF Board may, but will not necessarily, provide sufficient proof.
It is the potential candidate’s responsibility to ensure that the documentation to demonstrate their qualification for office is available. If it is not available the CEO is required to refuse to accept the nomination.
10. How do I register to vote?
There is no registration process to vote. Either you are on the citizenship register or you are not. Every citizen should be on the voters’ list for the Local to which they belong. If there is a clerical error then you should contact the CRO or your RRO or the CEO. And they will try to confirm you are eligible to vote.
CRO is also creating a portal on the website that will allow you to verify you are registered to vote, the Local to which you belong, and in due course your polling place.
11. How old do I need to be to vote?
You must be 18 years old to vote in an MMF election.
12. Where do I find the candidate’s information?
We have a section on our website that contains the necessary information on how to become a candidate including the forms necessary.
Once the election is called (the Notice of Election is issued), there will be advertisements in a number of media outlets, we will post on social media, there will be a posting on our website, and there will be posters placed near your Local.
Once nominations close, we will advertise the candidates that have been confirmed in all of the same locations. We do not publish much information about them except their address, Local, and Region. If there is an election we may publish on our website limited contact information for their campaign, but will not advertise that information.
13. What are the qualifications for running for any position?
Election By-Law ARTICLE IX Qualification of Candidates
1. Only Citizens who are residents of Manitoba and have obtained a valid Citizenship card in accordance with Article IV 5(a) of the MMF Constitution are entitled to stand for Election.
2. To run for the position of Regional Vice-President or Regional Executive Officer, a person must be a member of a Local within that Region and reside in that Region. If a person is a member of a Local within that Region but does not reside in that Region, they shall be allowed to be a Candidate provided they give to the Chief Electoral Officer, a written promise that if they are elected, they will move and reside in that Region for the duration of their term within six months of being elected.
3. Any Candidate who breaches their promise to the Chief Electoral Officer referred to in subsection (2) shall automatically forfeit their elected office.
4. (a) In order to be able to stand for Election for the position of Regional Executive Officer, a Citizen must, during the previous 20 years, have held office for at least three years as either Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary-Treasurer, Secretary, or Treasurer of an Active Local; or have held office for at least three years as a Regional Board Member of Infinity Women Secretariat Inc.
(b) In order to be able to stand for Election for the position of Regional Vice-President in a Region, a Citizen must, during the previous 20 years, have held office for at least three years as either Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary-Treasurer, Secretary, or Treasurer of an Active Local; or have held office for at least three years as a Regional Board Member of Infinity Women Secretariat Inc.
(c) In order to be able to stand for Election for the position of President, a Citizen must, during the previous 20 years, have held office for at least three years as either Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary-Treasurer, Secretary, or Treasurer of an Active Local, or have held office for at least three years as a Regional Board Member of Infinity Women Secretariat Inc., and as well, have held office for at least three years as either a Regional Executive Officer or Regional Vice-President, or as Spokeswoman of Infinity Women Secretariat Inc.
(d) Once a Citizen has previously held office for at least three years as either a Regional Executive Officer, Regional Vice-President, Spokeswoman of Infinity Women Secretariat Inc., or President, they may stand for Election for any of the positions of Regional Executive Officer, Regional Vice President, or President and the requirements of 4 (a), (b), and (c) do not apply to that Citizen.
5. A Citizen who has a debt or financial obligation owing to the MMF or a MMF Region that is more than 30 days in arrears at the date nominations close may not be a Candidate. Any Citizen against whom the MMF or a MMF Region holds an unpaid judgment must pay such judgment in full on or before the date nominations close in order to be eligible to be a Candidate.
6. A Citizen who has a contract or an interest in a contract for pecuniary gain with the MMF at the date nominations close may not be a Candidate.
7. A Candidate who is employed by the MMF (except for Regional Administrators) must apply for a leave of absence without pay effective on or before the day on which nominations close. The application for a leave of absence shall be presented to the MMF and a copy shall be sent to the Chief Electoral Officer before nominations close. The MMF shall grant all such applications for a leave of absence.
8. A Candidate who is employed by the MMF shall, at the time of applying for a leave of absence, claim and be paid all outstanding holiday pay, wages, claims, and disbursements.
14. How do I vote in person if I’m unable to drive to a polling station? (Elders/persons living with disabilities)
The current ARTICLE XVIII of the Election By-Law provides the process for voting for persons with disabilities.
If an Elector is unable to mark a ballot due to illiteracy, blindness, or physical or mental disability, there will be arrangements made to allow assistance (after completion of certain forms). The person’s name assisting is placed in the poll book as a permanent record.
If a voter is unable to attend a Polling Station the poll clerk, along with scrutineers attend at the Voter’s residence with the appropriate ballots and a form that must be signed by the Voter. The Voter then completes the ballots in private in the usual way and the same is secured in an envelope. Upon return to the polling station, the envelope is opened by the DRO and the ballot is deposited in the box in the usual way, without anyone observing how the Voter voted. The declaration signed by the voter is secured in a separate envelope.
15. If no one’s running against President Chartrand, why would I bother?
The vote count is public. It is important that Government realize the vibrancy of the Red River Métis. Moreover, the persons running in your Region will form your government. The Cabinet is composed of 23 members including the President, Spokeswoman for Infinity Women Secretariat Inc., and 3 members elected from each Region. If you don’t vote you will not have a voice in who represents you.
16. Can I register to vote if I’m waiting for approval on my Citizenship application?
Firstly, there is no registration in order to vote. If you are a citizen you are entitled to vote and your name will, or at least should, be on the list of electors. HOWEVER, if you have not been approved for registration on the Citizenship Register then until approved, you are not a citizen. If you have applied BEFORE the call of the election, and are approved before the close of polls you may vote once entered as a citizen.
In direct answer, if you have applied but are not yet approved on or before election day you may not vote in the election.
17. How long will it take to find out who’s elected? How will the results be announced?
The Constitution provides that once all of the polls have been reported by telephone that the CEO will announce UNOFFICIAL results. That should happen the night of the election or at worst the next day.
But the process for validating and certifying the Count takes some time and the final verified result will not be available for about 1 week.
After that result is published, candidates may have a right to a recount and that will be held quickly after requested. The results of the recount will be available within 1 day of the end of that re-count (and usually the same day).
The final results will be announced by press release, on our web page, and in various media outlets. A formal verification and certification of the results is sent to the MMF Cabinet through the President.
18. How can I vote if I live in a remote community?
If you live in a remote community in which there is NO poll, you may apply to the CEO (including through your RRO) for a mail-in ballot. You may ONLY apply for, or receive, a mail-in ballot for yourself.
The office of the CEO will then send you an envelope with information and the ballots applicable to your Local.
You must include identification and sign the necessary certificate on an envelope and then return the ballots to the CEO. The ballots must be received by the close of polls on Election Day. It is the Citizen’s responsibility to ensure the ballots are received.
19. Can I vote for only my Region, or for all Cabinet members?
Citizens in every Region vote for the President. For all other positions citizens vote for the Regional Executive for the Region in which the Local to which they belong is located. For instance, if you live in Winnipeg, but are a member of a local in The Pas, you may only vote for Regional Executive positions for The Pas Region. You cannot vote for the Executive Officers from any other Region.
20. Is there a maximum number of years an elected official can hold their position?