Special Voting Rules as Adapted for the Purposes of a By-election
Counting of Votes in the Office of the Returning Officer
Appointment of deputy returning officer and poll clerk
273.(1) The returning officer shall appoint a deputy returning officer and poll clerk to verify the outer envelopes and to count the special ballots issued to electors in his or her electoral district and received in his or her office. More than one deputy returning officer and poll clerk may be appointed if the number of votes warrants it.
Assignment of duties
(2) The returning officer shall assign duties so that a deputy returning officer chosen from among the persons recommended by the registered party whose candidate finished first in the last election in the electoral district works with a poll clerk chosen from among the persons recommended by the registered party whose candidate finished second in that election in that electoral district.
Merger of parties
(3) For the purpose of subsection (2), in determining whether the candidate of a registered party finished first or second in the last election in a case where the registered party is the result of a merger with one or more parties that were registered parties at the last election, there shall be attributed to the candidate of the merged party, the number of votes of the candidate of the merging party with the largest number of votes at that last election.
Notification to candidates
(4) The returning officer shall, as soon as possible, notify the candidates of the name and address of the persons appointed as the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk.
Candidate present at counting
274.A candidate or his or her representative may be present for the verification of the outer envelopes and the counting of ballots received at the office of the returning officer.
Ballots to be kept sealed
275.(1) The returning officer shall ensure that the ballots received at his or her office are kept sealed until they are given to the deputy returning officer.
Return outer envelopes
(2) All outer envelopes received after the prescribed deadline shall be kept separate and sealed and shall be initialled by the returning officer and marked with the date and time of their receipt.
Verification of envelopes
276.(1) A deputy returning officer and a poll clerk shall verify the outer envelopes, at the time fixed by the Chief Electoral Officer and in accordance with his or her instructions, by determining from the information on the outer envelope whether the elector is entitled to vote in the electoral district.
(2) The returning officer shall notify the candidates of the time and place of the verification.
Provision of materials to deputy returning officer
(3) The deputy returning officer shall be provided with the applications for registration and special ballot received before the deadline, along with any other materials that may be required.
Setting aside of outer envelope
277.(1) The deputy returning officer shall set aside an outer envelope unopened when he or she ascertains on its examination that
- (a) the information concerning the elector, as described on the outer envelope, does not correspond with the information on the application for registration and special ballot;
- (b) the outer envelope, other than an outer envelope in respect of an elector who has taken a vote under section 243 or 243.1, does not bear the signature of an elector;
- (c) more than one ballot has been issued to an elector; or
- (d) the outer envelope was received after the prescribed deadline.
(2) When the outer envelopes are verified, the poll clerk shall register any objection to an elector's right to vote in the electoral district in the prescribed form.
Noting of reasons for setting aside
(3) When an outer envelope is set aside unopened as described in subsection (1), the deputy returning officer shall note on it the reasons for the rejection. The deputy returning officer and the poll clerk shall initial the envelope.
Counting of outer envelopes
278.(1) The deputy returning officer and the poll clerk shall count all valid outer envelopes.
(2) The deputy returning officer and the poll clerk shall open the outer envelopes and put all the inner envelopes in a ballot box provided by the returning officer.
Counting the votes
(3) After the close of the polling stations, the deputy returning officer shall open the ballot box and he or she together with the poll clerk shall open the inner envelopes and count the votes.
Rejection of ballots
279.(1) The deputy returning officer shall, in counting the ballots, reject a ballot if
- (a) it has not been supplied for the election;
- (b) it is not marked;
- (c) it is marked with a name other than the name of a candidate;
- (d) it is marked for more than one candidate; or
- (e) there is any writing or mark on it by which the elector could be identified.
(2) The deputy returning officer shall not reject a special ballot for the sole reason that the elector has incorrectly written the name of a candidate, if the ballot clearly indicates the elector's intent.
(3) The deputy returning officer shall not reject a special ballot for the sole reason that the elector has written, in addition to the name of a candidate, the name of the registered party or the word "independent", if the ballot clearly indicates the elector's intent.