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

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Act current to 2019-04-25 and last amended on 2019-04-01. Previous Versions

PART 14Judicial Recount (continued)

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) a deputy returning 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.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 301
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 67
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 201

Marginal note:More than one application

 If a judge receives more than one application for a recount for more than one electoral district, the recounts shall be conducted in the order in which the judge receives the applications.

 [Repealed, 2014, c. 12, s. 68]

Marginal note:Recount procedure

  •  (1) The judge shall conduct the recount by adding the number of votes reported in the statements of the vote or by counting the valid ballots or all of the ballots returned by the deputy returning officers or the Chief Electoral Officer.

  • Marginal note:Documents that may be examined

    (2) If a recount of all of the ballots returned is required, the judge may open the sealed envelopes that contain the used and counted, unused, rejected and spoiled ballots. The judge shall not open any envelopes that appear to contain other documents or refer to any other election documents.

  • Marginal note:Procedure for certain recounts

    (3) In the case of a recount conducted by counting the valid ballots or all of the ballots returned by the deputy returning officers or the Chief Electoral Officer, the procedure set out in Schedule 4 applies.

  • Marginal note:Powers of judge

    (4) For the purpose of arriving at the facts with respect to a missing ballot box or statement of the vote, the judge has all the powers of a returning officer with regard to the attendance and examination of witnesses who, in case of non-attendance, are subject to the same consequences as in the case of refusal or neglect to attend on the summons of a returning officer.

  • Marginal note:Additional powers of judge

    (5) For the purpose of conducting a recount, a judge has the power to summon any deputy returning officer or poll clerk as a witness and to require him or her to give evidence on oath and, for that purpose, has the same power that is vested in any court of record.

  • Marginal note:Clerical assistants

    (6) Subject to the approval of the Chief Electoral Officer, a judge may retain the services of support staff to assist in the performance of his or her duties under this Part.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 304
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 69

Marginal note:Proceedings to be continuous

 The judge shall, as far as practicable, proceed continuously with a recount, except for necessary breaks and, unless the judge orders otherwise, between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Marginal note:Security of documents

  •  (1) During a break described in section 305, the judge or any other person who has possession of ballots and other election documents shall keep them sealed in parcels, and the seal shall be signed by the judge and may be signed by any other person in attendance.

  • Marginal note:Supervision of sealing

    (2) The judge shall personally supervise the parcelling and sealing of ballots and documents at a recount and take all necessary precautions for their security.

Marginal note:Judge may terminate recount

 Except in a case referred to in section 300, a judge may at any time terminate a recount on request in writing by the person who applied for the recount.

Marginal note:Procedure at conclusion of recount

 At the conclusion of a recount, the judge shall

  • (a) seal the ballots in a separate envelope for each polling station and without delay prepare a certificate in the prescribed form that sets out the number of votes cast for each candidate;

  • (b) deliver the original of the certificate to the returning officer and a copy of it to each candidate;

  • (c) return to the returning officer the election documents or election materials brought under subsection 300(4) or 301(4) for the purpose of the recount; and

  • (d) deliver to the returning officer the reports created in the course of the recount.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 308
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 70
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 203

Marginal note:Costs

  •  (1) If a recount does not alter the result of the vote so as to affect the return, the judge shall

    • (a) order the costs of the candidate for whom the largest number of votes have been cast to be paid by the person who applied for the recount; and

    • (b) tax those costs, following as closely as possible the tariff of costs allowed with respect to proceedings in the court in which the judge ordinarily presides.

  • Marginal note:Disposal of deposit and right of action for balance

    (2) The money deposited as security for costs shall, as far as is necessary, be paid out to the candidate in whose favour costs are awarded under subsection (1) and, if the deposit is insufficient to cover the costs, the party in whose favour the costs are awarded has their action for the balance.

Marginal note:Application for reimbursement of costs

  •  (1) After a recount, a candidate may make an application to the Chief Electoral Officer for reimbursement of his or her costs in respect of the recount, setting out the amount and nature of the costs and whether they were actually and reasonably incurred.

  • Marginal note:Chief Electoral Officer determines costs

    (2) On receipt of an application under subsection (1), the Chief Electoral Officer shall determine the costs, and shall make a request for reimbursement to the Receiver General, up to a maximum of $500 for each day or part of a day during which the judge conducted the recount.

  • Marginal note:Payment from Consolidated Revenue Fund

    (3) The Receiver General, on receipt of a request for reimbursement from the Chief Electoral Officer, shall pay to the candidate the amount requested from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

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