Municipal By-Election Process

There is a dedicated Municipal Elections Website to direct you to forms and information for voters, candidates and election officials. (2018 but still relevant Municipal Elections Guidebook).

See the Municipal By-Election Calendar. If you need election dates calculated for you use this MS Excel spreadsheet to determine dates by only putting in the date of the election in the yellow box.

When a council vacancy occurs the Chief Administrative Officer should file a council vacancy form with Municipal Affairs.

The general process for a by-election is listed below:

At least 3 months before by-election  (recommended)

  • Appoint Municipal Electoral Officer (MEO) and Deputy MEO
    • Council appoints by resolution.
    • MEO can be the municipality’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).
    • Municipalities can share MEOs
  • Set the Date for the by-election (when vacancies occur between elections)
    • Council sets the date (must be a Monday and meet other requirements) Use the MS Excel spreadsheet to determine dates by only putting in the date of the by-election in the yellow box.
  • Review the municipality's Election Bylaw
    • Your bylaw will list your election office open times, possibly election office location, spending limits for councillors, and more. Also your electors list will be outlined on how to enumerate or received from Elections PEI

At least 2 months before election (recommended)

  • Determine location for election office and establish office hours (municipality and MEO) Outlined in your election bylaw.
  • Appoint Returning Officer (MEO appoints)

5th Friday before by-election 

4th Tuesday before by-election 

  • MEO opens Election Office
    • Election Office hours must be posted in the Notice of Nominations. 

4th Wednesday before by-election to 3rd Friday before by-election (nomination period) 

Candidates must complete and file the Candidate Nomination Form with the MEO or RO at the Election Office during the hours identified in the Notice of Nomination for the municipality. All nominations must be filed by 2:00 pm on the third Friday before the by-election. 

3rd Friday before by-election: Nomination Day

  • All nominations filed by 2:00 pm
  • MEO publishes electronic Notice of Extended Nominations by 5:00 pm (if extended nomination period is required) 
  • MEO posts Notice of Nominated Candidates in election office (if election is required) 

14th day (Monday) before by-election 

  • Appoint election officials for polling stations (RO appoints)
  • MEO publishes Notice of Extended Nominations in newspaper (if extended nomination period is required)

12th day (Wednesday) before by-election 

  • MEO publishes Notice of Election Information
  • RO provides officially nominated candidates with list of electors

2nd Friday before by-election: Extended Nomination Day (required if there are fewer nominated candidates than seats)

Immediately After Nominations

  • Announce results if acclaimed or prepare for an election.

Within 10 days of notification of elected candidate(s)

2 months after by-election

  • All candidates (whether elected or not) must file a Disclosure Statement of Campaign Contributions and Election Expenses to the MEO (if still appointed) or the CAO of the municipality.  Visit Municipal Election Campaigns for more information on filing a Disclosure Statement. 


Note: This page is prepared for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specialized legal or professional advice.


Published date: 
June 12, 2024