Canada Elections Act

Part 9

Voting

Voting Opportunities

Manner of voting

127. An elector may vote

Polling Day

Hours

Hours of voting

128. (1) The voting hours on polling day are

Exception – Saskatchewan

(2) Despite subsection (1), if polling day is during a time of the year when the rest of the country is observing daylight saving time, the voting hours in Saskatchewan are

Daylight-saving time

129. The Chief Electoral Officer may, if he or she considers it necessary, set the voting hours for the electoral district so that the opening and closing of its polls coincide with the opening and closing of the polls in other electoral districts in the same time zone.

When polls lie in two time zones

130. When more than one local time is observed in an electoral district, the returning officer shall, with the prior approval of the Chief Electoral Officer, determine one local time to be observed for every operation prescribed by this Act, and shall publish the hours in the Notice of Election referred to in section 62.

By-elections

131. If only one by-election is held or if more than one by-election is held on the same day and all of them are in the same time zone, the hours of voting are from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Time to Employees for Voting

Consecutive hours for voting

132. (1) Every employee who is an elector is entitled, during voting hours on polling day, to have three consecutive hours for the purpose of casting his or her vote and, if his or her hours of work do not allow for those three consecutive hours, his or her employer shall allow the time for voting that is necessary to provide those three consecutive hours.

Time at convenience of employer

(2) The time that the employer shall allow for voting under subsection (1) is at the convenience of the employer.

Transportation companies

(3) This section and section 133 do not apply to an employee of a company that transports goods or passengers by land, air or water who is employed outside his or her polling division in the operation of a means of transportation, if the additional time referred to in subsection (1) cannot be allowed without interfering with the transportation service.

No penalty for absence from work to vote

133. (1) No employer may make a deduction from the pay of an employee, or impose a penalty, for the time that the employer shall allow for voting under subsection 132(1).

Hourly, piece-work or other basis of employment

(2) An employer who pays an employee less than the amount that the employee would have earned on polling day, had the employee continued to work during the time referred to in subsection 132(2) that the employer allowed for voting, is deemed to have made a deduction from the pay of the employee, regardless of the basis on which the employee is paid.

Prohibition

134. No employer shall, by intimidation, undue influence or by any other means, interfere with the granting to an elector in their employ of the three consecutive hours for voting, as provided for in section 132.

Proceedings at the Poll

Who may be present at polling station

135. (1) The only persons who may be present at a polling station on polling day are

Delivery of representative's authorization

(2) When a representative of a candidate is admitted to a polling station, the representative shall deliver his or her written authorization from the candidate or the candidate's official agent in the prescribed form to the deputy returning officer.

Representative authorized in writing

(3) A representative bearing a written authorization referred to in subsection (2) is deemed to be a representative of the candidate within the meaning of this Act and is entitled to represent the candidate in preference to, and to the exclusion of, any elector who might otherwise claim the right to represent the candidate.

Oath of secrecy

(4) Each representative of a candidate or each elector described in paragraph (1)(d), on being admitted to the polling station, shall take an oath in the prescribed form.

Presence of representatives

136. (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.

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 to take another oath.

Examination of list of electors and conveying information

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

Communications device

(4) A representative of a candidate shall not use a communications device at a polling station during voting hours.

Candidate may act as representative

137. (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.

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.

Initialling ballots

138. (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, the deputy returning officer 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.

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.

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.

Counting of ballots before opening of poll

139. 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.

Examining and sealing ballot box

140. When the polling station opens, the deputy returning officer 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

Admitting Voters

Calling electors

141. Immediately after the ballot box is sealed, the deputy returning officer shall call on the electors to vote.

Electors not to be impeded

142. (1) The deputy returning officer 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.

One elector at a time

(2) A deputy returning officer may, if he or she considers it advisable, direct that not more than one elector for each voting compartment may at any time enter the room where the voting is held.

Elector to declare name, etc.

143. (1) Each elector, on arriving at the polling station, shall give his or her name and address to the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk, and, on request, to a candidate or his or her representative.

Proof of identity and residence

(2) If the poll clerk 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 to the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk the following proof of his or her identity and residence:

Clarification

(2.1) For greater certainty, the Chief Electoral Officer may authorize as a piece of identification for the purposes of paragraph (2)(b) any document, regardless of who issued it.

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.

Oath

(3) An elector may instead prove his or her identity and residence by taking the prescribed oath if he or she is accompanied by an elector whose name appears on the list of electors for the same polling division and who

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.

Request to take an oath

(3.2) Despite subsection (3.1), a deputy returning officer, poll clerk, candidate or candidate's representative who has reasonable doubts concerning the residence of an elector referred to in that subsection may request that the elector take the prescribed oath, in which case his or her residence is deemed to have been proven only if he or she takes that oath.

Voting

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

Prohibition — vouching for more than one elector

(5) No elector shall vouch for more than one elector at an election.

Prohibition — vouchee acting as voucher

(6) An elector who has been vouched for at an election may not vouch for another elector at that election.

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.

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 21; S.C. 2007, c. 37, s. 1.

Requirement before administering oath

143.1 If a person decides to prove his or her identity and residence by taking the prescribed oath, the person who administers the oath shall, before doing so, orally advise the oath taker of the qualifications for electors and the penalty that may be imposed under this Act on a person who is convicted of voting or attempting to vote at an election knowing that he or she is not qualified as an elector.

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 21.

Proof of qualification as elector

144. A deputy returning officer, poll clerk, candidate or candidate's representative who has reasonable doubts concerning whether a person intending to vote is qualified as an elector may request that the person take the prescribed oath, and the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she takes that oath.

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 21.

Proof of identity, etc., or oath not required

144.1 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).

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 21.

145. [Repealed]

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 21.

Name and address corresponding closely to another

146. If a name and address in the list of electors correspond so closely with the name and address of a person who demands a ballot as to suggest that it is intended to refer to that person, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she takes the prescribed oath.

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 22.

Person in whose name another has voted

147. 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 takes the prescribed oath.

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 22.

Name inadvertently crossed off list

148. 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 takes the oath referred to in section 147.

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 22.

Failure to prove identity or residence

148.1 (1) An elector who fails to prove his or her identity and residence in accordance with subsection 143(2) or (3) or to take an oath otherwise required by this Act shall not receive a ballot or be allowed to vote.

When elector refuses to take improper oath

(2) If an elector refuses to take an oath because 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 deputy returning officer or the poll clerk of the polling station, the returning officer decides that the elector is not required to take the oath, 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.

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 22.

Elector not allowed to vote

149. An elector whose name does not appear on the official list of electors in his or her polling station shall not be allowed to vote unless

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 23.

Voting Procedure

Delivery of ballot to elector

150. (1) Every elector who is admitted to vote shall be given a ballot by the deputy returning officer.

Instructions to elector on receiving ballot

(2) The deputy returning officer shall explain to each elector how to indicate his or her choice and fold the ballot so that its serial number and the initials of the deputy returning officer are visible and shall direct the elector to return the marked and folded ballot.

Manner of voting

151. (1) An elector shall, after receiving a ballot,

Return of ballot

(2) The deputy returning officer shall, on receiving the ballot from the elector,

Spoiled ballot

152. (1) If an elector has inadvertently handled a ballot in such a manner that it cannot be used, the elector shall return it to the deputy returning officer who shall mark it as a spoiled ballot, place it in the envelope supplied for the purpose and give the elector another ballot.

Limit

(2) An elector shall not be given more than one ballot under subsection (1).

No delay in voting

153. (1) Every elector shall vote without delay and leave the polling station as soon as his or her ballot has been put into the ballot box.

Electors present at close of voting hours allowed to vote

(2) An elector who is entitled to vote at a polling station and who is in the polling station or in line at the door at the close of voting hours shall be allowed to vote.

Special Voting Procedures

Assistance by deputy returning officer

154. (1) The deputy returning officer, on request by an elector who is unable to vote in the manner prescribed by this Act because he or she cannot read or has a physical disability, shall assist the elector in the presence of the poll clerk.

Template

(2) The deputy returning officer shall, on request, provide a template to an elector who has a visual impairment to assist him or her in marking his or her ballot.

Assistance by friend or related person

155. (1) If an elector requires assistance to vote, a friend, the spouse, the common-law partner or a relative of the elector or a relative of the elector's spouse or common-law partner may accompany the elector into the voting compartment and assist the elector to mark his or her ballot.

Exception

(2) No person shall as a friend assist more than one elector for the purpose of marking a ballot.

Oath

(3) A person described in subsection (1) who wishes to assist an elector in marking a ballot shall first take an oath, in the prescribed form, that he or she

Prohibition – failure to maintain secrecy

(4) No person who assists an elector under this section shall, directly or indirectly, disclose the candidate for whom the elector voted.

S.C. 2000, c. 12, s. 40.

Use of interpreter

156. A deputy returning officer may appoint and swear a language or sign language interpreter to assist the officer in communicating to an elector any information that is necessary to enable him or her to vote.

Elector who is confined to bed

157. (1) At a polling station that has been established in a home for the aged or in a chronic care facility, when the deputy returning officer considers it necessary, the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk shall

Procedure for taking the votes

(2) When the vote of an elector who is confined to bed is taken, the deputy returning officer shall give the elector the assistance necessary to enable the elector to vote, and not more than one representative of each candidate may be present.

Transfer Certificates

Transfer certificate for candidate

158. (1) A candidate whose name appears on the list of electors for a polling station is entitled on request to receive a transfer certificate to vote at another polling station in the same electoral district.

Transfer certificate for election officer

(2) A returning officer or an assistant returning officer shall issue a transfer certificate to any person whose name appears on the official list of electors for a polling station and who has been appointed, after the last day of advance polls, to act as an election officer for another polling station.

Condition

(3) A transfer certificate issued under subsection (2) authorizes the person to vote at the polling station named in it only if, on polling day, the person performs the duty specified in the certificate at the place mentioned in the certificate.

Transfer certificate for elector whose polling station has moved

(4) If an elector's polling station moves to another location after the notice of confirmation of registration has been sent, an elector who attends at the polling station set out in the notice is entitled on request to receive a transfer certificate to vote at that polling station.

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 24.

Transfer certificate for elector with a disability

159. (1) An elector who is in a wheelchair or who has a physical disability, and who is unable to vote without difficulty in his or her polling division because it does not have a polling station with level access, may apply for a transfer certificate to vote at another polling station with level access in the same electoral district.

Application requirements

(2) The application shall be in the prescribed form and shall be personally delivered to the returning officer or assistant returning officer for the elector's electoral district by the elector, his or her friend, spouse, common-law partner or relative, or a relative of his or her spouse or common-law partner.

Issue of transfer certificate to disabled elector

(3) The returning officer or assistant returning officer shall issue a transfer certificate in the prescribed form, and hand the certificate to the person who delivered the application to the officer, if the officer is satisfied that

S.C. 2000, c. 12, s. 40; S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 25.

Signing, numbering and recording transfer certificate

160. The returning officer or assistant returning officer by whom a transfer certificate is issued shall

Polling Day Registration

Registration in person

161. (1) An elector whose name is not on the list of electors may register in person on polling day if the elector

Place of registration

(2) Where subsection (1) applies, the registration may take place before

Representative of each candidate

(3) In the case of a registration under paragraph (2)(a), the registration officer shall permit one representative of each candidate in the electoral district to be present.

Registration certificate

(4) Where the elector satisfies the requirements of subsection (1), the registration officer or deputy returning officer, as the case may be, shall complete a registration certificate in the prescribed form authorizing the elector to vote and the elector shall sign it.

List deemed to be modified

(5) When a registration certificate is given under subsection (4), the list of electors is deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to have been modified in accordance with the certificate.

Prohibition – vouching for more than one elector

(6) No elector shall vouch for more than one elector at an election.

Prohibition — vouchee acting as voucher

(7) An elector who has been vouched for at an election may not vouch for another elector at that election.

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 26; S.C. 2007, c. 37, s. 2.

Requirement before administering oath

161.1 If a person decides to prove his or her identity and residence by taking the prescribed oath, the person who administers the oath shall, before doing so, orally advise the oath taker of the qualifications for electors.

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 27.

Duties of Poll Clerk

Duties of poll clerk

162. Each poll clerk shall

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 28.

Secrecy

Secret vote

163. The vote is secret.

Secrecy during and after poll

164. (1) Every candidate, election officer or representative of a candidate present at a polling station or at the counting of the votes shall maintain the secrecy of the vote.

Secrecy at the poll

(2) Except as provided by this Act, no elector shall

Procedure in case of contravention of secrecy

(3) It is the duty of each deputy returning officer to draw the attention of any elector to an offence that the elector commits in contravening subsection (2) and to the punishment to which the elector is liable, but the elector shall be allowed to vote in the usual way if he or she has not already done so.

Prohibitions

Prohibition – use of loudspeakers on polling day

165. No person shall use a loudspeaking device within hearing distance of a polling station on polling day for the purpose of promoting or opposing a political party that is listed on the ballot under the name of a candidate or the election of a candidate.

S.C. 2001, c. 21, s. 13.

Prohibitions – emblems, etc., in polling station

166. (1) No person shall

Exception

(2) Despite paragraph (1)(b), a representative of a candidate in a polling station may, in the manner authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer, wear a badge identifying his or her function and the name of the political party that is listed on the ballot under the name of the candidate.

S.C. 2001, c. 21, s. 14.

Prohibitions re ballots, etc.

167. (1) No person shall

Other prohibitions

(2) No person shall wilfully

Prohibitions – deputy returning officers

(3) No deputy returning officer shall





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