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Judicial Recount handbook

6. The Completed Recount

6.1 Master Recount Report

A person designated by the judge shall transfer the final results shown on all of the Recount Ballot Box Reports onto the Master Recount Report. [19 of Schedule 4] A copy of the Master Recount Report is included in Appendix E (Form 4) of this handbook.

Once a determination on disputed ballots is made for a particular polling division and a Recount Ballot Box Report is approved by the judge, the person designated by the judge may promptly transfer the results of the recount from the Recount Ballot Box Reports to the ERS. Once the recount results are imputed for each polling division, the ERS will generate a poll-by-poll report, which will constitute the Master Recount Report. If the recount is conducted at a place other than the returning office (e.g. at the courthouse), it may be necessary to transport the Recount Ballot Box Reports to and from the returning office to enter results in the ERS.

6.1.1 Right to Inspect the Master Recount Report

Each party (candidate, candidate's representatives and candidate's legal counsel) and the returning officer shall have the opportunity from time to time, and at the conclusion of the preparation of the Master Recount Report, to inspect and compare the Recount Ballot Box Reports and the Master Recount Report and to bring any error or discrepancy noted to the attention of the judge. [20 of Schedule 4]

6.1.2 Final Submissions to the Judge on the Master Recount Report

When the recount is complete, counsel for the candidates may make their final submissions to the judge with respect to the accuracy of the Master Recount Report. The judge shall determine any issues arising from those submissions and ensure that the Master Recount Report is completed in accordance with any such determination. [21 of Schedule 4]

6.2 Preparation of the Certificate of the Judge

At the conclusion of the judicial recount, the judge (or staff designated by the judge) must seal the ballots in a separate envelope for each polling station and, on the basis of the Master Recount Report, without delay prepare a Certificate of the Judge, entitled Results of Voting after a Judicial Recount, which sets out the number of votes cast for each candidate. The judge shall deliver the original of the certificate to the returning officer and a copy of it to each of the candidates. [308(a), 308(b), 22 of Schedule 4] A sample Certificate of the Judge is included in this handbook in Appendix E (Form 5).

The returning officer then declares elected the candidate who obtained the largest number of votes by completing a Return of the Writ (see Section 6.5 below). [313]

6.3 Returning Election Materials and Documents to the Returning Officer

At the conclusion of the judicial recount, the judge shall return to the returning officer the election documents or other election materials brought for the purpose of the recount and deliver to him or her the reports created in the course of the recount. [308(c)]

6.4 The Result of Voting Form

The addition of Schedule 4 to the Act and the forms specified in those provisions mean that the forms and results that were completed and recorded on election night – namely, the results recorded on the Result of Voting form, reproduced in Appendix D (Form 6) of this handbook – are left as they were. New forms, created expressly to record the recount results and outcome, are to be completed. This is a change from procedures in earlier recounts.

6.5 Completing the Return of the Writ

Without delay after receiving the signed Certificate of the Judge (Results of Voting after a Judicial Recount) from the judge following the completion of a recount, the returning officer shall declare elected the candidate who obtained the largest number of votes by completing the Return of the Writ in the prescribed form on the back of the writ of election. [313(1)] The Return of the Writ is reproduced in Appendix D (Form 8) of this handbook.

If there is an equality of votes between the candidates with the largest number of votes, the returning officer shall indicate that fact on the Return of the Writ. [313(2)]

The returning officer must forward a copy of the Return of the Writ to each candidate. [315(1)]