Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Search

Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2022-05-02 and last amended on 2021-06-29. Previous Versions

PART 9Voting (continued)

Polling Day (continued)

Proceedings at the Poll (continued)

Marginal note:Presence of representatives

  •  (1) A candidate or the candidate’s official agent may authorize any number of representatives of the candidate to be present at a polling station, but only two of each candidate’s representatives may be present at any time.

  • Marginal note:Representatives may absent themselves from poll

    (2) A representative of a candidate, or an elector described in paragraph 135(1)(d), may leave a polling station at any time and return at any time before the counting of the votes begins and is not required to produce a new written authorization from the candidate or official agent, or a copy of one, or to make another solemn declaration.

  • Marginal note:Moving between polling stations

    (2.1) Despite subsection (2), a candidate’s representative may, either before or after the counting of the votes begins, go from one polling station to another if those polling stations are in the same polling place. However, once the representative leaves the polling place, he or she is not permitted to return after the counting of the votes begins.

  • Marginal note:Examination of list of electors and conveying information

    (3) A representative of a candidate may, during voting hours,

    • (a) examine the list of electors, provided that the representative does not delay an elector in casting his or her vote; and

    • (b) convey any information obtained by the examination referred to in paragraph (a) to a representative of the candidate who is on duty outside the polling station.

  • Marginal note:Photographs, recordings and communications devices

    (4) A candidate’s representative

    • (a) shall not take any photograph or make any audio or video recording at a polling station; and

    • (b) shall not, if he or she uses a communications device at a polling station, impede any elector from exercising their right to vote or violate the secrecy of the vote.

Marginal note:Candidate may act as representative

  •  (1) A candidate may perform the duties of a representative of the candidate, or may assist the representative in the performance of those duties, and may be present at any place that the representative is authorized to attend under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Non-attendance of representatives

    (2) The non-attendance of a representative of a candidate at any time or place authorized by this Act does not in any way invalidate any act or thing done during the absence of the representative if the act or thing is otherwise duly done.

Marginal note:Initialling ballots

  •  (1) Before a polling station opens on polling day, and in full view of the candidates or their representatives who are present at the polling station, an election officer who is assigned to the polling station shall initial the back of every ballot in the space indicated in Form 3 of Schedule 1, entirely in ink or entirely in black pencil so that when the ballot is folded the initials can be seen. The initials shall be as similar as possible on each ballot.

  • Marginal note:Ballots not to be detached

    (2) For the purpose of initialling, the ballots shall not be detached from the books in which they are contained.

  • Marginal note:Vote not to be delayed

    (3) The opening of a polling station shall not be delayed for the purpose of initialling the ballots. Ballots that are not initialled when the polling station opens shall be initialled as soon as possible and in all cases before being handed to electors.

Marginal note:Counting of ballots before opening of poll

 Candidates or their representatives who are in attendance at least 15 minutes before a polling station opens are entitled to have the ballots intended to be used at the polling station carefully counted in their presence and to inspect the ballots and all other documents relating to the vote.

Marginal note:Examining and sealing ballot box

 When the polling station opens, an election officer who is assigned to the polling station shall, in full view of the candidates or their representatives who are present, open the ballot box and ascertain that it is empty, and shall

  • (a) seal the ballot box with the seals provided by the Chief Electoral Officer; and

  • (b) place the ballot box on a table in full view of all present and ensure that the box remains there until the polling station closes.

Admitting Voters

Marginal note:Calling electors

 Immediately after the ballot box is sealed, an election officer who is assigned to the polling station shall call on the electors to vote.

Marginal note:Electors not to be impeded

 An election officer who is assigned to the polling station shall ensure that every elector is admitted into the polling station and that the electors are not disturbed when they are in or near the polling station.

Marginal note:Elector to give name and address

  •  (1) Each elector, in order to receive a ballot, shall give his or her name and address to an election officer who is assigned to the polling station, and, on request, to a candidate or a candidate’s representative.

  • Marginal note:Proof of identity and residence

    (2) If the election officer determines that the elector’s name and address appear on the list of electors or that the elector is allowed to vote under section 146, 147, 148 or 149, then, subject to subsection (3), the elector shall provide the election officer with the following proof of his or her identity and residence:

    • (a) one piece of identification issued by a Canadian government, whether federal, provincial or local, or an agency of such a government, that contains a photograph of the elector and his or her name and address; or

    • (b) two pieces of identification of a type authorized under subsection (2.1), each of which establishes the elector’s name and at least one of which establishes the elector’s address.

  • Marginal note:Authorized types of identification

    (2.1) The Chief Electoral Officer may authorize types of identification for the purposes of paragraph (2)(b). For greater certainty, any document may be authorized, regardless of who issued it.

  • Marginal note:Person registered as an Indian

    (2.2) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(b), a document issued by the Government of Canada that certifies that a person is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act constitutes an authorized piece of identification.

  • Marginal note:Solemn declaration

    (3) An elector may instead prove his or her identity and residence by making the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.1(1) in writing if he or she is accompanied by another elector whose name appears on the list of electors for the same polling station and who

    • (a) provides the election officer referred to in subsection (1) with the piece or pieces of identification referred to in paragraph (2)(a) or (b), respectively; and

    • (b) vouches for the elector by making the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.1(2) in writing.

  • Marginal note:Vouching for electors in long-term care institution

    (3.01) If an elector who resides in an institution for seniors or persons with a disability wishes to prove his or her identity and residence under subsection (3), the other elector referred to in that subsection who accompanies him or her may be an employee of the institution who resides — despite that subsection — in any polling division in the elector’s electoral district or an adjacent electoral district.

  • Marginal note:Definition of employee

    (3.02) In subsection (3.01), employee includes an owner of the institution and any person who occupies a management position at the institution.

  • Marginal note:Proof of residence

    (3.1) If the address contained in the piece or pieces of identification provided under subsection (2) or paragraph (3)(a) does not prove the elector’s residence but is consistent with information related to the elector that appears on the list of electors, the elector’s residence is deemed to have been proven.

  • Marginal note:Request to make solemn declaration

    (3.2) Despite subsection (3.1), if the election officer referred to in subsection (1), a candidate or a candidate’s representative has reasonable doubts concerning the residence of an elector referred to in subsection (3.1), the officer, candidate or representative may request that the elector make the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.1(1) in writing, in which case the elector’s residence is deemed to have been proven only if he or she makes that solemn declaration.

  • Marginal note:Examination of identification documents

    (3.3) A candidate or their representative may examine but not handle any piece of identification presented under this section.

  • Marginal note:Voting

    (4) If the election officer is satisfied that an elector’s identity and residence have been proven in accordance with subsection (2), (3), (3.1) or (3.2), the elector’s name shall be crossed off the list and, subject to section 144, the elector shall be immediately allowed to vote.

  • (5) [Repealed, 2018, c. 31, s. 93]

  • (6) [Repealed, 2018, c. 31, s. 93]

  • Marginal note:Publication

    (7) The Chief Electoral Officer shall publish each year, and within three days after the issue of a writ, in a manner that he or she considers appropriate, a notice setting out the types of identification that are authorized for the purpose of paragraph (2)(b). The first annual notice shall be published no later than six months after the coming into force of this subsection.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 143
  • 2007, c. 21, s. 21, c. 37, s. 1
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 46
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 93

Marginal note:Requirement before making solemn declaration — elector

  •  (1) If a person decides to prove his or her identity and residence by making the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.1(1) in writing, an election officer shall, before the person makes the solemn declaration, advise him or her in writing of the qualifications for electors and the penalty that may be imposed under this Act on a person who is found guilty of voting or attempting to vote at an election knowing that he or she is not qualified as an elector or who contravenes subsection 549(3).

  • Marginal note:Requirement before making solemn declaration — vouching for elector

    (2) If a person decides to vouch for an elector by making the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.1(2) in writing, an election officer shall, before the person makes the solemn declaration, advise him or her in writing of the penalty that may be imposed under this Act on a person who contravenes any of subsections 282.1(1) to (3) or 549(3).

Marginal note:Proof of qualification as elector

 If the election officer referred to in subsection 143(1), a candidate or a candidate’s representative has reasonable doubts concerning whether a person intending to vote is qualified as an elector, the officer, candidate or representative may request that the person make the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.1(1) in writing, in which case the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she makes that solemn declaration.

Marginal note:Proof of identity, etc., or oath not required

 Once an elector has been given a ballot, no person shall require the elector to prove his or her identity and residence in accordance with subsection 143(2) or (3).

  • 2007, c. 21, s. 21

 [Repealed, 2007, c. 21, s. 21]

Marginal note:Name and address corresponding closely to another

 If the name and address of a person who asks for a ballot do not appear in the list of electors but a different name and address in that list correspond so closely as to suggest that they are intended to refer to that person, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she makes a solemn declaration in the prescribed form.

Marginal note:Person in whose name another has voted

  •  (1) If a person asks for a ballot at a polling station after someone else has voted under that person’s name, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she makes the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.1(1) in writing.

  • Marginal note:Requirement before making solemn declaration

    (2) An election officer shall, before the person makes the solemn declaration, advise the person in writing of the penalty that may be imposed under this Act on a person who is found guilty of voting or attempting to vote more than once contrary to section 281.5 or of requesting or applying for a ballot or special ballot in a name that is not his or her own contrary to paragraph 281.7(1)(a).

Marginal note:Name crossed off list in error

 If an elector claims that his or her name has been crossed off in error from an official list of electors under subsection 176(2) or (3), the elector shall not be allowed to vote unless the returning officer verifies that the elector’s name was crossed off in error or the elector makes the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.1(1) in writing.

Marginal note:Failure to prove identity or residence

  •  (1) An elector who fails to prove his or her identity and residence in accordance with section 143 or to make a solemn declaration otherwise required by this Act shall not receive a ballot or be allowed to vote.

  • Marginal note:When elector refuses to make solemn declaration

    (2) If an elector refuses to make a solemn declaration on the ground that he or she is not required to do so under this Act, the elector may appeal to the returning officer. If, after consultation with the election officer in whose opinion the elector is required to make the solemn declaration, the returning officer decides that the elector is not required to make it, and if the elector is entitled to vote in the polling division, the returning officer shall direct that he or she be allowed to do so.

 
Date modified: