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Judicial Recount handbook

Appendix C – Checklist for Returning Officers

Before the Recount

  1. Advise Elections Canada Legal Services of a judicial recount. Call 1-800-463-6868.
  2. Obtain the name and direct telephone number of the judicial recount support official at Elections Canada headquarters in Ottawa.
  3. Obtain the name of the Elections Canada representative from Ottawa who will travel to your electoral district to provide support.
  4. Select and train the recount teams. It may be useful to have on hand a list of persons experienced in counting ballots. Such a list is also useful in the event that some persons initially selected withdraw before the recount starts. In addition, contact the candidates to obtain a list of names of persons who may be available to act at a judicial recount as the handler and the recorder. Make it clear that the judge will determine pursuant to the Act how the recount will proceed and that these individuals may not be required. Once it is determined that they will be required, appoint the necessary number of handlers and recorders.
  5. Call Elections Canada headquarters to discuss contracts with IBM, the telephone company and the movers and to advise them that there will be a delay in closing the returning office.
  6. Review the returning office lease termination date and discuss any requirements for extension.
  7. Ensure that the original Result of Voting form is set aside in a safe place.
  8. Contact a security firm and hire a security guard to ensure the security of the ballots while they are at the returning office.
  9. If the recount is held at a location other than where you stored the ballot boxes, visit the location of the recount and ensure that the necessary materials are in place.
  10. Review the security at the location of the recount.
  11. Review the security for the transportation of the ballot boxes.
  12. Reserve a moving company to transport the ballot boxes.
  13. Move the ballot boxes from the returning office to the location of the recount when the judge directs that this be done. [300(4), 301(4)]
  14. As directed by the judge, set up any necessary computer and photocopiers at the location of the recount.
  15. Obtain the date of the presentation of the application for judicial recount.
  16. If this is an automatic recount, obtain the name of the lawyer retained by Elections Canada to assist with the drafting of the application for judicial recount. [300(1)]
  17. If this is an automatic recount, prepare the Notice of an Application by the Returning Officer for a Judicial Recount form and send this to all candidates or their official agents. [300(2)] A copy of this form is reproduced in Appendix E (Form 1) of this handbook.
  18. If this is a recount requested by an elector, ensure that the judge gives the candidates notice of the date and place of the recount. If this is an automatic recount, suggest that the judge may wish to give this notice even though it is not a requirement of the Act. [301(5)] The Notice of a Judicial Recount form, set out in Appendix E (Form 2) of this handbook, may be used by the judge for this purpose.
  19. Prepare the necessary materials to conduct the recount.
  20. Provide the judge with a package of information for use at a judicial recount.
  21. If the judge wishes to have a preliminary meeting, attend this meeting and receive any instructions the judge may give. If the judge wishes to proceed by supervising the recount, advise the judge whether the candidates have provided lists of names of persons who can be appointed as handlers and recorders.

During the Recount

  1. Ensure that all members of the support staff used by the judge at a recount have a time sheet.
  2. Although the security of the ballots during a recount is the responsibility of the judge, ensure that you are satisfied with the arrangements for security and bring any of your concerns to the attention of the judge immediately. [306(2)]
  3. Make photocopies of any disputed ballots according to the judge's instructions pursuant to section 18 of Schedule 4 of the Act.
  4. If asked by the judge, approve the time sheets of the persons working at the recount.
  5. Ensure that the time sheets are countersigned by the judge.
  6. Ensure that the Master Recount Report is completed as directed by the judge and that the judge signs the Certificate of the Judge to certify the result of the recount. [308(a)] A sample Master Recount Report is included in Appendix E (Form 4) of this handbook, and a sample Certificate of the Judge is included in Appendix E (Form 5).
  7. Ensure that a copy of the certificate is provided to the candidates, their representatives and the candidates' legal counsel. [308(b), 22 of Schedule 4]

After the Recount

  1. Ensure that you and your staff have completed a Time Sheet (Recount) form and have had it certified by the judge. Ensure that this form is also completed by all support staff used by the judge at the recount and certified by the judge. This form is reproduced in Appendix E (Form 6) of this handbook.
  2. If the recount is held at a location other than where you stored the ballot boxes, move the ballot boxes from the location of the recount back to the returning office.
  3. Ensure that a copy of the Certificate of the Judge is provided to any candidates who did not receive a copy.
  4. Fax a copy of the certificate to Elections Canada Legal Services at 819-939-2005.
  5. Complete the Return of the Writ. This form is reproduced in Appendix D (Form 8) of this handbook.
  6. Complete the necessary procedures to close the returning office and return election materials, including the Time Sheet (Recount) forms and other forms, to Elections Canada headquarters.