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

Full Document:  

Act current to 2022-11-28 and last amended on 2021-06-29. Previous Versions

PART 12Counting Votes (continued)

Polling Stations (continued)

Marginal note:Marked ballots

  •  (1) One of the election officers referred to in subsection 283(1) shall place the ballots for each candidate into separate envelopes, write on each envelope the name of the candidate and the number of votes he or she received, and seal it. The election officers shall sign the seal on each envelope, and the witnesses may also sign them.

  • Marginal note:Rejected ballots

    (2) One of the election officers shall place into separate envelopes the rejected ballots, the registration certificates and the list of electors, and shall seal the envelopes.

  • Marginal note:Documents enclosed in large envelope

    (3) One of the election officers shall seal in a large envelope supplied for the purpose

    • (a) the envelopes that contain the marked ballots for the candidates, any spoiled ballots, unused ballots or rejected ballots, and the official list of electors; and

    • (b) any other election documents, except for the envelopes that contain the statements of the vote and the registration certificates.

  • Marginal note:Documents to be placed in the ballot box

    (4) The large envelope described in subsection (3) and the envelope that contains the copy of the statement of the vote shall be placed in the ballot box.

  • Marginal note:Sealing ballot box

    (5) The ballot box shall be sealed with the seals provided by the Chief Electoral Officer.

Marginal note:Solemn declarations

 One of the election officers referred to in subsection 283(1) shall place the form for each solemn declaration made under subsection 143(3) or paragraph 161(1)(b) or 169(2)(b) in an envelope supplied for the purpose.

Marginal note:Periodic statements of electors who voted

 One of the election officers referred to in subsection 283(1) shall place a copy of each document prepared for the purpose of paragraph 162(i.1) in an envelope supplied for the purpose.

Advance Polls

Marginal note:Counting of votes on polling day

  •  (1) At least two election officers who are assigned to an advance polling station and who are specified in accordance with the Chief Electoral Officer’s instructions shall, at the close of the polling stations on polling day, attend at the place mentioned in the notice of advance poll in subparagraph 172(a)(iii) to count the votes.

  • Marginal note:Application of rules for counting votes

    (2) Subsections 283(1) and (2), paragraphs 283(3)(e) and (f) and sections 284 to 288 apply with any necessary modifications to the counting of the votes of an advance poll except that

    • (a) for the application of paragraph 283(3)(e), the two or more election officers who are specified in accordance with the Chief Electoral Officer’s instructions shall open the ballot boxes and empty their contents onto a table; and

    • (b) for the application of subsection 288(4), the large envelope and the envelope that contains the copy of the statement of the vote shall be placed in the ballot box used on the last day of advance polling.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition

    (3) Subject to subsection (4), no person shall make a count of the votes cast at an advance poll before the close of voting hours on polling day.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (4) The two or more election officers who are specified in accordance with the Chief Electoral Officer’s instructions may begin counting the votes cast at an advance poll one hour before the close of voting hours on polling day if

    • (a) the returning officer who is responsible for the advance polling station has obtained the Chief Electoral Officer’s prior approval for the counting to begin;

    • (b) the counting is done in accordance with the Chief Electoral Officer’s instructions;

    • (c) the counting is done in a manner that ensures the integrity of the vote; and

    • (d) the counting is done in the presence of any candidates or their representatives who are present or, if no candidates or representatives are present, at least two electors.

Delivery of Ballot Boxes to Returning Officer

Marginal note:Sending ballot boxes and envelopes to returning officer

 An election officer who is assigned to a polling station or an advance polling station shall, without delay after sealing the ballot box, send to the returning officer the box, with the envelope that contains the original statement of the vote, the envelope that contains the registration certificates, the envelope referred to in section 288.01 and, in the case of an election officer who is assigned to a polling station, the envelope referred to in section 288.1.

Marginal note:Provision of documents

 A returning officer shall — on the request of the candidate, his or her representative or a representative of the candidate’s party — provide him or her, after polling day, with

  • (a) one copy of each statement of the vote in respect of the candidate’s electoral district; and

  • (b) one copy of the documents prepared under paragraph 162(i.1).

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 291
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 65

Marginal note:Safekeeping of ballot boxes

 A returning officer, on the receipt of each ballot box, shall

  • (a) take every precaution to prevent any other person, except the assistant returning officer, from having access to it; and

  • (b) examine and record the condition of the seals affixed to it and, if necessary, affix new seals.

Marginal note:List of persons who made solemn declaration

 A returning officer, on the receipt of each envelope referred to in section 288.01, shall create a list of the names of all persons who made a solemn declaration under subsection 143(3) or paragraph 161(1)(b) or 169(2)(b) and shall include in the list the address of each of those persons.

PART 13Validation of Results by the Returning Officer

Marginal note:Validation of results

  •  (1) After a returning officer receives all of the ballot boxes, he or she shall, at his or her office, in the presence of the assistant returning officer at the time indicated in paragraph 62(c), validate the results of the vote from the original statements of the vote and the information communicated under section 280.

  • Marginal note:Adjournment if ballot boxes or information not received

    (2) If, on the day fixed for the validation of the results as described in paragraph 62(c), a returning officer has not received all the ballot boxes or the information required by section 280, the returning officer shall adjourn the proceedings for not more than seven days.

  • Marginal note:Further adjournment

    (3) If, on the day fixed for the proceedings by virtue of an adjournment under subsection (2), the returning officer has not, for any reason, received the ballot boxes or information referred to in that subsection, the returning officer may make further adjournments. The further adjournments may not exceed a total of two weeks.

Marginal note:Witnesses at validation

 Candidates and their representatives may attend the validation of the results, but if none of them is present, the returning officer shall ensure the presence of at least two electors until the validation is completed.

Marginal note:Opening ballot box in certain cases

  •  (1) If the original statement of the vote is missing, appears to contain an error, to be incomplete or to have been altered, or is disputed by a candidate or his or her representative, the returning officer may open the ballot box and the envelope that contains the copy of the statement of the vote or, if that copy is missing, the large envelope.

  • Marginal note:Information on envelopes containing ballots

    (2) If a copy of the statement of the vote is not found or is not useful for the purpose of validating the results, the returning officer may use the information that is written on the envelopes that contain the ballots for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (3) The returning officer shall not open an envelope that appears to contain ballots.

  • Marginal note:Resealing of loose papers

    (4) If the returning officer opens the large envelope, he or she shall place its contents into another envelope, seal that envelope and initial the seal.

Marginal note:Loss or destruction of ballot boxes

  •  (1) If a ballot box has been destroyed or is missing, the returning officer shall ascertain the cause of the destruction or loss and shall complete the validation of the results from the original copy of the statement of the vote in the same manner as if he or she had received the ballot box.

  • Marginal note:Power to summon and examine

    (2) If the returning officer is unable to obtain either the original statement of the vote or the ballot box, he or she

    • (a) shall ascertain, by any evidence that he or she is able to obtain, the total number of votes cast for each candidate at the polling stations;

    • (b) for ascertaining the total number of votes under paragraph (a), may summon any election officer or other person to appear before him or her at a fixed date and time and to bring with them all necessary documents; and

    • (c) may question the election officer or other person respecting the matter in question and, if necessary, ask them to make a solemn declaration in respect of the matter.

  • Marginal note:Notice to candidates

    (3) If paragraph (2)(b) applies, the returning officer shall give notice to the candidates for that electoral district of the date and time fixed for the appearance.

  • Marginal note:Obligation to comply with summons

    (4) Every person to whom a summons is directed under paragraph (2)(b) shall obey it.

Marginal note:Certificate of votes cast

 Without delay after the validation of the results, the returning officer shall prepare a certificate in the prescribed form that sets out the number of votes cast for each candidate, and shall deliver the original of the certificate to the Chief Electoral Officer and a copy of it to each candidate or his or her representative. In the case described in section 296, the certificate shall indicate the number of votes that have been ascertained to have been cast for each candidate.

Marginal note:Ballot boxes

 After the close of an election, each returning officer shall dispose of the ballot boxes as instructed by the Chief Electoral Officer.

PART 14Judicial Recount

Interpretation

Definition of judge

  •  (1) In this Part, judge means a judge who sits in the electoral district where the results are validated.

  • Marginal note:Powers of judge

    (2) A judge who is authorized by sections 300 to 309 to act may act, to the extent authorized, within or outside his or her judicial district.

Recount Procedure

Marginal note:Request by returning officer for recount

  •  (1) If the difference between the number of votes cast for the candidate with the most votes and the number cast for any other candidate is less than 1/1000 of the votes cast, the returning officer shall make a request to a judge for a recount within four days after the results are validated.

  • Marginal note:Notice to candidates

    (2) The returning officer shall notify each candidate or his or her official agent in writing of the request for a recount.

  • Marginal note:Recount automatic

    (3) The judge shall fix the date for the recount to be conducted within four days after he or she receives the request.

  • Marginal note:Documents to be supplied

    (4) The returning officer shall attend the recount and shall bring all relevant election materials including

    • (a) the ballot boxes;

    • (b) the statements of the vote used to validate the results; and

    • (c) all ballots cast and statements of the vote made in accordance with Part 11.

Marginal note:Application for recount

  •  (1) An elector may, within four days after the day on which a returning officer issues a certificate under section 297 and after notifying the returning officer in writing, apply to a judge for a recount.

  • Marginal note:Notice to candidates

    (1.1) The returning officer shall notify each candidate or his or her official agent in writing of the application for a recount.

  • Marginal note:Grounds for recount

    (2) The judge shall fix a date for a recount if it appears, on the affidavit of a credible witness, that

    • (a) an election officer has incorrectly counted or rejected any ballots, or has written an incorrect number on the statement of the vote for the votes cast for a candidate; or

    • (b) the returning officer has incorrectly added up the results set out in the statements of the vote.

  • Marginal note:Deposit

    (3) The applicant shall deposit with the clerk or prothonotary of the court the sum of $250 as security for the costs of the candidate who obtained the largest number of votes.

  • Marginal note:Date for recount and summons

    (4) The date fixed for the recount shall be within four days after the judge receives the application. The judge shall summon the returning officer to attend and to bring the relevant ballot boxes and statements of the vote together with the ballots that were counted, and the statements that were completed, under Part 11.

  • Marginal note:Notice to candidates

    (5) The judge shall notify each candidate or his or her official agent in writing of the time and place fixed for the recount. The judge may decide that service of the notice will be substitutional, by mail or posting or in any other manner.

  • Marginal note:Returning officer required to attend

    (6) A returning officer to whom a summons is directed under subsection (4) shall obey it and shall be present throughout the recount.

 
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