Returning Officer's Manual
Chapter 9 – Candidates and Their Representatives
Returning officers are responsible for confirming the nominations of candidates for their electoral district. Returning officers administer the nomination process by providing prospective candidates with nomination information and forms, and by receiving and confirming the Nomination Papers in accordance with the Canada Elections Act.
Returning officers also accept and submit candidates' nomination deposits.
- 9.1 Preparations for the Nomination of Candidates
- 9.2 Procedure for the Nomination
- 9.3 Procedure for Official Agent or Auditor Ceasing to Hold Office
- 9.4 Consultation of the Nomination Paper
- 9.5 Candidates' Representatives
- 9.6 Candidates' Electoral Campaign Returns
9.1 Preparations for the Nomination of Candidates
9.1.1 Definition of Candidate
A candidate is a person whose nomination is confirmed by you, as the returning officer (RO). The person is not a confirmed candidate until:
- the Nomination Paper (available at www.elections.ca) is filed and accepted by you
- the required deposit, statement of the auditor and letter from the leader of the party (if applicable) are received by you by the close of nominations
Note: If the Nomination Paper, statement and letter are filed in electronic format, you must receive the original documents within 48 hours of the close of nominations. The nomination deposit must be received by the close of nominations on Day 21 at 2:00 p.m.
Only confirmed candidates are entitled to have their names appear on a ballot and receive election expense documents.
s. 2 "candidate"
9.1.2 Categories of Political Parties
The Canada Elections Act (CEA) defines a political party as "an organization one of whose fundamental purposes is to participate in public affairs by endorsing one or more of its members as candidates and supporting their election."
s. 2 "political party"
The CEA stipulates different categories of political parties as follows:
- An eligible party is a political party that has applied for registration as prescribed by the CEA, and that has met all of the legal registration requirements, including having at least 250 electors who have declared that they are members of the party and that support the party's application for registration. Before being fully "registered", the party must endorse one or more of its members as candidates and support them at a general election or by-election.
par. 385(2)(a) to (j)
- A registered party is a political party that has met the requirements above and has previously endorsed a candidate.
- Parties may be deregistered for various reasons, including for failing to endorse any candidates at a general election.
s. 409, 414, 418
Only registered parties may have the party name listed on the ballot under the name of their candidates.
9.1.3 Eligibility of Candidates
To be eligible to run as a candidate, a person must be a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years of age on election day.
s. 3, ss. 65(a)
Prospective candidates need not reside in the electoral district (ED) where they are seeking election or be registered on the lists of electors.
9.1.4 Ineligibility of Candidates
Certain electors are ineligible to be candidates:
s. 4, 65
- persons found guilty of having committed an offence that is an illegal practice or a corrupt practice under the Act
- any previous candidate who failed to submit the electoral campaign return on time, including any extensions; you will receive a list of such people at the appropriate time
- members of the legislature of a province, the Council of the Northwest Territories or the Legislative Assembly of Yukon or Nunavut
- sheriffs, clerks of the peace or county crown attorneys in any of the provinces and judges appointed by the Governor in Council, other than citizenship judges appointed under the Citizenship Act
- persons incarcerated in a correctional institution
- election officers as defined by the CEA
9.1.5 Documents for Potential Candidates
Potential candidates are those who intend to run for office, but their nomination has not yet been confirmed by the RO.
Potential candidates or their representatives are entitled to receive:
- up to three copies of the Nomination Paper (EC 20010); candidates cannot submit the Nomination Paper before the issue of the Notice of Election
- one copy of Important Considerations for Prospective Candidates (EC 90790)
- one copy of the CEA
Explain the process to potential candidates, such as nomination requirements, preliminary and detailed verification, as well as confirmation or rejection of the candidacy.
9.1.6 How to Complete the Nomination Paper
Direct the potential candidate's attention to the notes printed on the Nomination Paper.
- No prefixes (e.g. titles, The Honourable, Dr.) or suffixes (e.g. university degrees, professional designations, military decorations) can accompany a potential candidate's name.
- One or more of the given names can be replaced by a nickname by which the potential candidate is publicly known, other than a name that could be confused with the name of a political party. In this case, the initial or initials of the potential candidate's given name may accompany the nickname. Pay particular attention to names and nicknames that could appear inappropriate on the ballot. If you are not sure if the nickname is publicly known, proof must be provided (e.g. newspaper articles, personal correspondence, invoices). When in doubt, contact the Electoral Coordination Help Desk.
par. 66(2)(b), ss. 66(3) and (4)
- The candidate's name must appear on the ballot exactly as it is written on the Nomination Paper. A hyphenated family name must be wholly contained in the box reserved for the surname.
- Information on page 1 may be shared with the House of Commons, unless otherwise indicated at the bottom of that page.
Since a detailed verification of the Nomination Paper is required, advise the potential candidates to make an appointment with you and to file their submission early, thereby allowing sufficient time to correct any errors or omissions prior to the close of nominations.
Potential candidates should ensure that:
- they carefully read the instructions on the Nomination Paper
- information provided on pages 13 to 28 of the Nomination Paper is clear and accurate:
- a minimum of 100 signatures of supporting electors from the ED are obtained (150 to 200 signatures are recommended) or 50 electors in EDs listed in Schedule 3 of the CEA
par. 66(1)(e) and (f)
- electors consenting to the candidacy have printed their name and address clearly and placed their signature next to the information. The witness to the signatures has put his or her initials beside the name of each elector as well as completed the bottom portion of the page
par. 66(1)(e), (f) and (g)
- a minimum of 100 signatures of supporting electors from the ED are obtained (150 to 200 signatures are recommended) or 50 electors in EDs listed in Schedule 3 of the CEA
- they have the letter of endorsement from a registered or eligible political party, if applicable
- they have the auditor's letter
par. 67(4)(b), s, 477.41
- the auditor has a professional designation (i.e. CPA, CA, CGA or CMA).
Advise potential candidates that the witness to their consent must file the completed Nomination Paper and bring the deposit and related documents to you.
9.1.7 Nomination Calendar
A Nomination Paper can be filed at your office by a witness, with or without the candidate. Only you can receive the Nomination Paper, at your office, after the publication of the Notice of Election (EC 10020) until close of nominations, Monday, Day 21 at 2:00 p.m. The Nomination Paper must be completed and accompanied by the required deposit, the letter of endorsement, if applicable, and the auditor's letter.
ss. 67(4), s. 69, ss. 70(2)
The Nomination Paper may also be filed with you by electronic means (e.g. scan and email). The deposit must be received prior to the detailed verification and no later than the close of nominations. You must receive the original documents no later than 48 hours after the close of nominations; otherwise the nomination is cancelled (unless the person satisfies you that all reasonable measures were taken to deliver the documents on time).
ss. 70(3), s. 73
Note: If a candidate's original documents do not arrive within 48 hours, contact the Electoral Coordination Help Desk for instructions.
Under exceptional circumstances, you can delegate someone to receive a Nomination Paper, deposit, letter of consent from the auditor and letter of endorsement (if applicable) on your behalf. If this is the case, fill the Delegation of Authority form (EC 10090), ask for approval by EC in Gatineau and make sure that this person has the power to administer oaths. The authorization for another person to receive the Nomination Paper on your behalf must be sanctioned by you in writing. The authorized person must have the power to administer oaths required by legislation or regulation. Only you or the commissioner of oaths may sign page 5 of the Nomination Paper, once having heard the oath that has been sworn or affirmed by the candidate and in the presence of a third person who acts as a witness. Note that election officers, including an assistant returning officer (ARO) may take the oath. In addition, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) may designate any person to take the oath.
ss. 70(3), 549(1)
You and the ARO must be available at the RO office from 12 noon until 2:00 p.m. on the closing day for nominations (Day 21). A potential candidate who arrives before 2:00 p.m. and is not served until after 2:00 p.m. may still file the Nomination Paper. If the nomination documents and deposit are not complete, they are not to be accepted and the candidate cannot return after the deadline.
ss. 70(1) and (2)
Candidates whose nomination documents are received before the close of nominations have until 5:00 p.m. on Day 21 to make corrections to the name, address or occupation stated in the Nomination Paper. Correction requests are to be made in writing.
The deadline for accepting nominations may not be extended. Provide reasonable assistance to potential candidates to ensure that the Day 21 2:00 p.m. deadline is met.
Candidates may invite the media to the filing of their Nomination Paper. It is recommended that you contact these candidates or their representatives before they appear to ensure that they are aware of the requirements before they try to officially file their Nomination Paper. This avoids embarrassing situations caused by incomplete documents.
Journalists are allowed to photograph or film you in action when you are verifying nomination documents. However, you must be careful to maintain your political impartiality and neutrality. You cannot, for example, pose with a candidate for a photograph.
You must instruct your staff to be particularly attentive to journalists so that their access is limited only to public areas of the RO office. Journalists must not be allowed to roam around the office. The privacy of information must be preserved, particularly at the revision centre and the office of the special ballot coordinator (SBC).
9.2 Procedure for the Nomination
9.2.1 Nomination Process
Nominating candidates is a three-step process:
- The witness to the candidate's consent to nomination must file the Nomination Paper with you before the close of nominations (2:00 p.m. on Day 21). The witness must be eligible to vote, but need not reside in the ED. The candidate may or may not be present.
ss.67, 69, and 70(2)
- With the witness present, you conduct a preliminary verification of the nomination documents.
- You conduct a detailed verification of the Nomination Paper within 48 hours of the filing to confirm or reject the candidate's nomination.
ss.71(1) and (2)
The witness to the candidate's consent to nomination must file the following before the close of nominations:
- a completed Nomination Paper
- a deposit of $1,000
- a letter from the auditor consenting to act as auditor for the candidate
- if applicable, a letter signed by the person or persons authorized by the political party to endorse prospective candidates that states that the prospective candidate is endorsed by the party.
The CEO informs you of the political parties and persons who have authority to sign letters of endorsement.
9.2.2 Preliminary Verification Process
With the witness to the consent present, conduct a preliminary verification of the nomination documents. Advise the witness that a decision concerning the candidate's nomination is submitted in writing (page 11 of the Nomination Paper) within 48 hours. For more information, please see the 20.6, Nomination of Candidates: Preliminary Verification Checklist in Chapter 20. Make a copy of the checklist for each candidate who submits a Nomination Paper and keep a copy of the checklist with the nomination documents.
9.2.3 Transmitting Nomination Information to Elections Canada
After receiving the Nomination Paper, you must immediately send a scanned copy of pages 1 and 9 to Elections Canada (EC) using the online form through your public folders. The CEO must have a copy of page 1 of each Nomination Paper no later than the closing of nominations, earlier if possible. If any modifications are made to page 1, you must immediately send a scanned copy of the modified page 1.
If you accept the nomination, sign and date page 11, and send a scanned copy to EC using the online form. Advise the candidate or the official agent immediately by telephone. Page 11 should then be scanned and emailed to the candidate or be picked up by the candidate at your office. Keep a copy of page 11 for your files.
If you refuse a nomination, call the Electoral Coordination Help Desk before signing page 11 of the Nomination Paper. After consultation with EC, if the decision is to refuse, proceed as follows:
- Check the appropriate box and indicate below it the reason(s) why the nomination must be refused.
- Call the candidate or the official agent and provide the results of your verification. Arrange to meet with the candidate, the official agent or a representative of the candidate to return all nomination documents. Explain to the person that a corrected or new Nomination Paper may be submitted at any time before the close of nominations (2:00 p.m. on Day 21).
- Keep a copy of the Nomination Paper for your files.
Whether you confirm or refuse the nomination, send a scanned copy of page 11 to EC immediately using the online form. This allows EC to publish the list of confirmed candidates for special voting rules (SVR) electors both inside and outside of Canada and also to publish the name on the EC website.
Nomination deposits are processed in the following ways:
- If the cheque or money order is payable to the Receiver General for Canada, forward it via courier to the Political Financing, Audit and Corporate Services Directorate, Elections Canada, 30 Victoria Street, Gatineau, QC K1A 0M6.
- Cash and cheques or money orders payable to you, are deposited into your bank account. You then issue a cheque payable to the Receiver General for Canada and forward it by courier to the Political Financing, Audit and Corporate Services Directorate.
- Attach the completed Candidate's Deposit Transmittal (EC 10330) with each deposit.
Note: You must send the deposits to EC as soon as you receive them.
The deposit is returned to the official agent by EC in the following cases:
- nomination is refused
- compliance with after-election reporting requirements
- death of the candidate
9.2.5 Detailed Verification Process
You must thoroughly verify each Nomination Paper received within 48 hours after its receipt. For more information, please see the 20.7, Nomination of Candidates: Detailed Verification Checklist in Chapter 20. Use a new checklist for each Nomination Paper submitted by a candidate. Follow each step in the process and note any problems on the checklist. Attach the checklist to the nomination documents. If the nomination documents are verified again, a new checklist is required.
Clerical assistants should conduct the verification of all supporting electors on pages 13 to 28 of the Nomination Paper. For this purpose, hours are allocated in the office clerk budget. Begin the verification process after the receipt of the nomination documents and continue until one of the following occurs:
- 100 electors (50 electors in EDs in Schedule 3 of the CEA) are confirmed as supporting the nomination
- 48 hours have elapsed and the required number of electors is not confirmed
During the verification process, inform the candidate of the progress on a regular basis. Potential candidates must have sufficient opportunities to correct their Nomination Paper before the deadline. Do not wait until the 48 hours have expired to notify a potential candidate of problems encountered in the verification process.
Note: The detailed verification process is an important RO task. Ensure it is done carefully, quickly and accurately.
9.2.6 Materials for Confirmed Candidates
Give the election expenses documents to no one other than the confirmed candidate or the candidate's official agent.
You are required to provide the Multimedia Kit for Federal Political Entities (K.00003-C) to confirmed candidates. Other items are provided on request. For more information, please see Materials to Provide to Confirmed Candidates in Chapter 20.
A quantity of blank Authorization of a Candidate's Representative (EC 20020) forms are provided to each confirmed candidate or the candidate's official agent to distribute to individuals who he or she wishes to authorize to represent the candidate in the ED during the federal election.
On occasion, you distribute, or make available to confirmed candidates, other documents, such as the lists of electors and various notices.
ss. 64(4), s. 94, 104.1, ss. 107(3) and (4), 125(3), s. 172
9.2.7 Confirming the Final List of Candidates
Shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Day 19, EC sends you a list of confirmed candidates for your ED in the form of the List of Candidates Verification Report (EC 10043). You must verify or correct the information and immediately send a scanned copy of the signed report to EC using the online form through your public folders. If you make any corrections or add any missing names to the List of Candidates Verification Report, EC will update and resend it to you. Repeat the verification steps until you are able to sign a List of Candidates Verification Report that does not require any corrections. At this point, you give a copy of the List of Candidates Verification Report to the printer so that the proof of ballot can be produced.
For more information, please see the 20.8, List of Candidates Verification Report Checklist in Chapter 20.
You must also scan and send to EC all relevant documents that have not yet been sent (i.e. the nomination pages 1, 9 and 11) for candidates that did not appear on the initial List of Candidates Verification Report sent by EC. This data is required to publish the list of confirmed candidates for SVR electors, to determine which political parties to register and to publish the candidates' names on the EC website.
If, after 2:00 p.m. on Day 19, there is only one confirmed candidate, contact the Electoral Coordination Help Desk for instructions.
9.2.9 Withdrawal of a Candidate
Candidates have until 5:00 p.m. on Day 21 to officially withdraw. Candidates must meet with you to file a written declaration signed by the candidate and endorsed by two qualified electors from the ED. Withdrawn candidates must comply with all election expenses provisions and submit the reports and declarations required by the CEA.
The nomination deposit is reimbursed after the CEA's election expenses reporting requirements have been met.
Any votes cast for a withdrawn candidate are void.
Ensure that the former candidate's name does not appear on the ballot.
If, after a withdrawal, only one candidate remains, the result is an acclamation. Contact the Electoral Coordination Help Desk for instructions.
Note: If a withdrawal is received, notify the Electoral Coordination Help Desk by telephone immediately.
9.2.10 Death of a Candidate
If a candidate endorsed by a registered party dies after 2:00 p.m. on Day 26 and before the closing of the polls on election day, the election for that ED is postponed. Should this occur, contact the Electoral Coordination Help Desk.
ss. 68(2), s. 77
9.3 Procedure for Official Agent or Auditor Ceasing to Hold Office
9.3.1 New Appointment
If an official agent or auditor ceases to hold the position for any reason, the candidate must appoint a new official agent or auditor. Candidates should submit a written notification to you of the new appointment and a signed declaration from the new official agent or auditor indicating the acceptance of the appointment.
9.3.2 Methods of Update
Photocopy page 6 of a blank Nomination Paper. Have the new official agent sign the Declaration of the Official Agent and attach this new page to the candidate's Nomination Paper. Ensure that the candidate's name and party affiliation are inserted on the top of the new page 6. Send a scanned copy of the updated page 6 to EC using the online form through your public folders.
Request a letter from the new auditor indicating acceptance to act as auditor for that candidate. Attach the letter to the candidate's Nomination Paper. Send a scanned copy of the letter to the Political Financing, Audit and Corporate Services Directorate.
9.4 Consultation of the Nomination Paper
9.4.1 Consultation by the Public
The Nomination Paper (EC 20010) is a document made public only during the election period. Once the election is over, the Nomination Paper becomes a protected document and is not available for public consultation.
s. 2 "election documents", 314, 540
9.4.2 Copies of the Nomination Paper
During the election period, anyone is permitted to consult the Nomination Paper of a confirmed candidate in your office. The document can be photocopied and accessed by any interested person on request. The original document is not allowed to leave the office. Anyone may, however, take extracts from the document and is entitled to obtain copies upon payment of a fee of up to $0.25 per page, but may do so only during office hours.
Instructions on What Happens with Money Collected
Payment received from photocopying nomination documents can be used as petty cash. You must also provide a receipt.
9.5 Candidates' Representatives
9.5.1 Number of Candidates' Representatives Permitted
Advance, Mobile and Ordinary Polls
Each confirmed candidate may appoint as many representatives per polling place as the candidate wishes; however, only two representatives of each candidate may be present at any one time at each polling station during the opening of the poll, the voting hours and the counting of the votes.
par. 135(1)(d), ss.136(1)
Polls at Long-Term Care Facilities
When a poll held in an institution for people who are elderly, sick or have a disability is closed down so that the ballot box can be taken from bed to bed, only one representative of each candidate may accompany the election officials.
One representative of each candidate may be present at each registration desk on polling day.
SBC Office (Within the RO/AARO Office)
Each confirmed candidate may appoint as many representatives per SBC office as the candidate wishes, but only one representative of each candidate may be present at any one time at the SBC office during office hours.
Note: Candidates are entitled to be present at any polling station, registration desk or SBC office, but like the candidates' representatives, cannot sit at the same table as election officials.
par. 135(1)(c), ss. 137(1), 237.1(2)
9.5.2 Authorization Form for Candidates' Representatives at Polls
Each representative at polling places must have a written Authorization of a Candidate's Representative (EC 20020) signed by the candidate or official agent. This is a two-part form (white/yellow). Photocopies are not valid.
Representatives must bring the authorization form and take an oath with the central poll supervisor (CPS) or designated deputy returning officer (DRO). They may visit any polling place in the ED at any time during voting for a federal election without being required to take another oath, as long as they present the yellow copy of the signed authorization form.
ss. 135(2)(4) and (5), 136(1) to (2.1)
At the polling place, the Authorization of a Candidate's Representative (EC 20020) will be placed in the Clear Plastic Hanging Badge Holder (EC 20909) along with a badge from the Candidate's Representative Identification Badges (EC 20901) sheet. The sheet of badges and badge holders are included in the kits of various election officials, such as the kit for the CPS, and are given to candidates' representatives when they take the oath in front of the CPS or designated DRO.
For more information on these badges, including how to print them with the PDF templates sent from EC in Gatineau, please see the Candidate's Representative Identification Badges (EC 20901) sheet.
Note: Candidates' representatives are not eligible to receive a Transfer Certificate (EC 10190). Representatives may vote at advance polls or by special ballot.
9.5.3 Authorization Form for Candidates' Representatives in the SBC Office and During Counting of SVR Local Votes at the RO Office
Each representative observing SVR proceedings in the SBC office and/or present for the verification of outer envelopes and the count of special ballots should have a written SVR Authorization of a Candidate Representative (EC 78057) signed by the candidate or official agent. This is a two-part form (white/yellow). Photocopies are not valid.
Representatives must bring the authorization form to the SBC and then swear the required oath before the SBC. They may visit any polling place or SBC office in the same ED at any time during voting for a federal election without being required to take another oath, as long as they present the yellow copy of the signed authorization form.
ss. 135(2), (4) and (5), 136(1) to (2.1), 237.1 (2)
If present for the verification of outer envelopes and the counting of the local special ballots, they must present a copy of their authorization form to the DRO.
9.5.4 Candidates' Representatives at Counting of SVR Local Votes at the RO's Office
One candidate representative per team of DRO/poll clerk may be present at the RO office during the verification of outer envelopes and the counting of the ED's SVR local ballots.
9.5.5 Role of Candidates' Representatives
Candidates and their representatives at the polls may:
- if they are present 15 minutes before the polls open, ask to have the ballots counted and ask to inspect the ballots, the ballot box and any other material relating to the vote
- observe the proceedings, requiring electors to take oaths
- examine, but not handle, elector ID when the DRO is verifying proof of identity and address
- examine the lists of electors from time to time, as long as it does not delay an elector from voting
- request that an elector repeat his or her name and address
- retrieve one copy of the Statement of Electors Who Voted (bingo sheet) when they are made available
ss.136(3), 143(1) and (3.3), 161(3.1), 169(2.1), 237.1(3), par. 162(i.1) and (i.2)
If a representative's actions interfere with the voting process at a polling station, DROs are instructed to report the interference to the CPS at the polling place. The CPS may contact you if there is repeated interference or other urgent issues.
If you receive a complaint about the conduct of a candidate's representative, contact the appropriate official agent. If the situation cannot be resolved, you may instruct the CPS to ask the representative to leave or to have the representative removed from the polling place.
Representatives must follow the Guidelines for Candidate Representatives (EC 20045) supplied to them by the candidate or DRO.
Where possible, chairs should be made available for candidates' representatives. Each DRO and registration officer should ensure that chairs for candidates' representatives are placed away from their table, off to the side – there must be enough space for people with reduced mobility.
Note: Never seat candidates' representatives at the same table as the DRO and poll clerk or registration officer.
Candidates and candidates' representatives present in the SBC office may:
- observe the registration and voting activities in the SBC office
- challenge the qualification of an elector (citizenship and/or age) and request electors to take an oath of qualification
- observe the sealing and unsealing of ballot boxes (before the office opens and throughout the election, if applicable)
- examine, but not handle, elector ID when the SBC is verifying proof of identity and address
- examine the Record of Special Ballots Issued to Electors Voting Within Their Electoral District (EC 78720)
- examine the Control Sheet for Bar Code Labels (EC 78951) for national electors
ss.136(3), 143(1) and (3.3), 161(3.1), 169(2.1), 237.1(3) and (4), par. 162(i.1) and (i.2)
If a representative's actions interfere with the voting process in the SBC office, the SBC is instructed to assess the situation and, if required, contact you for urgent issues. If you receive a complaint about the conduct of a candidate's representative, contact the appropriate official agent. If the situation cannot be resolved, you may ask the representative to leave or be removed from the SBC office.
Representatives must follow the SVR Guidelines for Candidate Representatives (EC 78058) supplied to them by the candidate or the SBC.
ss. 136(3), 479 (7)
Note: Never seat candidates' representatives at the same table as the SBC.
9.5.6 Political Materials
In a polling place, no person shall post or display in, or on the exterior surface of, a polling place any campaign literature or other material that could be taken as an indication of support for or opposition to a political party that is listed on the ballot under the name of a candidate or the election of a candidate.
At the polling station, candidates' representatives are permitted to display a Candidate's Representative Identification Badge, provided by EC, which identifies their political affiliation. Only the official EC badges are authorized at a polling place. No other information, such as the name of the representative, is to be written on the badge.
Paragraph 166(1)(b) of the CEA does not prevent a person from wearing a flag or banner of Canada or a province as long as it does not manifest support or opposition to a candidate or a political party listed on the ballot. Materials used by representatives at polling places cannot identify any political affiliation. Candidates' representatives should use white or manila folders that bear no indication of the candidate or party on the inside or outside. The decisions of the DRO or CPS are final in this matter.
For example, any document, folder, clothing or other element that is visible within a polling station and that bears a party's or candidate's name, a party's logo, design or colour, and so on, contravenes the provisions of the CEA.
In accordance with subsection 479(7), you, CPSs, DROs and security officers appointed in accordance to paragraph 124(1)(b) are empowered to have removed from voting places any objects that you have reason to believe are in contravention of paragraph 166(1)(b) and to notify the candidate.
Note: Candidates and their representatives in the SBC office should follow the same rules. Final decisions are up to the SBC, RO or additional assistant returning officer.
9.5.7 Communication Devices
Pursuant to subsection 136(4) of the CEA, "a candidate's representative (a) shall not take any photograph or make any audio or video recording at a polling station; and (b) shall not, if he or she uses a communications device at a polling station, impede any elector from exercising their right to vote or violate the secrecy of the vote."
Candidates and electors are not restricted by legislation on the usage of communication devices. If the use of a communication device results in the disruption of the voting process, the CPS or DRO should simply ask the person(s) involved to leave the polling place.
It is illegal for an elector to take a picture of a marked ballot and show the picture to others.
9.5.8 Statements of Electors Who Voted (Bingo Sheets)
After closing the poll, the poll clerk provides you with the names of electors who voted each day, using the Statement of the Electors Who Voted at the Advance Poll (EC 50109) (bingo sheet). This statement excludes electors who registered on that day.
If the CPS has access to a photocopier inside the building where the polling station is located, a photocopy of the statement will be available to candidates' representatives at the close of polls. Alternatively, the CEO allows representatives to take a photograph using a mobile device. This only applies when the advance polls have closed, when no electors are present and for the sole purpose of sharing a copy of the statement with candidates' representatives. The CPS will indicate to representatives when they may take a photograph – typically when the CPS is doing a spot check at the polling station while the DRO and poll clerk are organizing and returning material.
Otherwise, you are to make a copy of the statement available at the office the day following each day of advance polls. For more information, please see Chapter 10, 10.3.9, Statement of Electors Who Voted at the Advance Poll (EC 50109) (Bingo Sheet).
Mobile and Ordinary Polls
The poll clerk tracks the names of electors who voted on election day using the Statement of the Electors Who Voted on Polling Day (EC 50111) (bingo sheet). This sheet excludes electors who registered on election day.
Copies of Statement of Electors Who Voted on Polling Day (EC 50111) (bingo sheets) are available to candidates' representatives, on request, once an hour throughout the day. The information officer at the polling place (or poll clerk where there is no information officer) will collect the bingo sheets from the poll clerk and sort them for distribution to candidates or their representatives upon request.
The original statements are returned to you after the close of polls on election night. You are to make copies available of the bingo sheets for all polling stations the next day at the office and provide them to candidates upon request. For more information, please see Chapter 10, 10.4.10, Statement of Electors Who Voted on Polling Day (EC 50111) (Bingo Cards).
9.6 Candidates' Electoral Campaign Returns
Official agents must document and report on candidates' election expenses and campaign contributions received. You provide information and documents to confirmed candidates and their official agents for their use in this process.
Direct questions concerning your role with respect to candidates and official agents to:
Political Financing Sector
30 Victoria Street
Telephone: ECSN-Finance: 1-888-677-0301 (Press 1, 4)
Refer all inquiries and questions from candidates and official agents respecting political financing to the Candidates and Parties Support Line at 1-800-486-6563. Do not attempt to provide answers or interpretations. This support line answers questions regarding the completion of any election expenses documents and questions regarding interpretations or explanations of the financial requirements of the CEA.
9.6.1 Responsibilities of the Returning Officer
Your responsibilities are to:
- accept potential candidates' nomination deposits and submit them to EC
- provide information and election expenses materials to confirmed candidates and their official agents and remind them of return deadlines
- ensure the security of official documents related to the candidates' expenses while in your possession
- direct any questions regarding the CEA or the completion of any financial documents to the Candidates and Parties Support Line at 1-800-486-6563
- submit documentation to the Political Financing Sector and to the CEO, as appropriate
- remain available at your home address for a period of time after the election to receive documents from candidates and official agents
ss. 72(1), 383(2), 477.88(1)
9.6.2 Election Expenses' Materials
EC sends election expenses materials listed in Table 9a: Election Expenses Materials to you in a separate shipment. This shipment will include multimedia kits (contents listed in Table 9b: Contents of Multimedia Kit); and a large tube containing 10 copies of the Important Reminders for Candidates and Their Official Agents (EC 20061) poster.
When this shipment arrives at your home or office, you should check the contents to verify all required documents are present. If any material is missing, notify the Political Financing Support Network 1-800-486-6563 by telephone or email immediately.
|Description||Provided to candidate|
|Multimedia Kit (K.00003-C)||Yes|
|Important Reminders for Candidates and Their Official Agents (EC 20061) poster||Yes|
|Multimedia Kit for Federal Political Entities (K.00003-C)|
|Envelope for Multimedia Kit (K.00003-C) (EC 20276)|
|Multimedia Kit for Federal Political Entities: Read Me First! (EC 20152) document|
|Multimedia Key (EC 20151)|
|There are limits to what you can give (EC 90117) pamphlet|
|Important Reminders for Candidates and Their Official Agents (EC 20059) pamphlet|
Security for Election Expenses Materials
You are responsible for ensuring the safekeeping and protection of candidates' multimedia kits and reference materials in your possession. You must provide a secure location for them until they are provided to confirmed candidates or their official agents and when resubmitted to you.
9.6.3 Information for Potential Candidates and Their Official Agents
You provide potential candidates and their official agents with PDF copies of:
- Notification of One Percent Limit on Expenses for Potential Candidates
- Notice of Limit of Election Expenses for Candidates
Notification of One Percent Limit on Expenses for Potential Candidates
After the issue of the writ, the Political Financing Sector provides a written notice to all ROs of the one percent limit on expenses for notices of nomination meetings. This notice provides potential candidates with the dollar amount they may spend advertising their candidacy for the nomination as a candidate of a registered party during an election.
The limit on expenses is one percent of the dollar amount of election expenses that a candidate was entitled to spend in the ED in the immediately preceding general election.
Notice of Limit of Election Expenses for Candidates
By Day 31, the Political Financing Sector determines the limit of election expenses for candidates in a dollar amount, based on the Preliminary List of Electors, and provides a written initial notice to all ROs. By Day 7, the Political Financing Sector determines any revision to the limit of election expenses for candidates based on the Revised Lists of Electors, and provides notice to all official agents and candidates.
You provide a copy of the initial notice of the limit of election expenses to all potential candidates, nominated candidates and the local association of each registered party.
9.6.4 Potential Candidate's Nomination Deposit
You accept the potential candidates' nomination deposit, giving them a receipt and submitting the deposit to EC, Electoral Financing. Refer to Deposits in Chapter 9 for details on accepting and submitting this deposit.
9.6.5 Information and Materials Supplied to Confirmed Candidates and Their Official Agents
When you confirm the nomination of the candidates, provide the candidates or their official agents with the Multimedia Kit for Federal Political Entities. The multimedia kit is produced in a USB format for easy distribution to candidates or their official agents.
Candidate's Multimedia Kit for Federal Political Entities
The candidate's Multimedia Kit for Federal Political Entities contains a USB key with the Electronic Financial Return (EFR) application that the official agents can use to complete their filing requirements, as well as use for printing and distributing official income tax receipts, and documentation pertaining to candidates and their official agents. If the candidate or the official agent refuses to accept the multimedia kit, you must advise the official agent that the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return (EC 20120) is included in the kit and must be completed even if the candidate does not receive contributions or incur any election expenses.
If the official agent still refuses, you must immediately inform the Political Financing Sector's Candidates and Parties Support Line by telephone or email.
If additional multimedia kits are required, contact the Political Financing Support Network 1-800-486-6563 immediately.
Official Income Tax Receipt Forms for Contributions
Electronic official income tax receipt forms can be produced by using the EFR application. This is the recommended process due to the application's ease of use and convenience. By not obtaining hardcopy official income tax receipt forms, candidates or their official agents will no longer have a requirement to return the yellow (CEO) and pink (RO) hardcopies of these forms back to EC within a month after polling day.
The Receipt for a Contribution to a Candidate at an Election (EC 20060) hardcopy forms are available and provided only to confirmed candidates or their official agents upon direct request to EC. These receipts are completed by official agents and provided to those who contribute money to a candidate's campaign. The Income Tax Act allows the official agent to issue an official income tax receipt for any monetary contribution received within the period that starts with the day on which the candidate's nomination has been confirmed by you and ends on the day that is a month after election day, as long as any contributions received after election day were in transit on election day.
One of the requirements to receive the refund of the candidate's nomination deposit is to return all issued (pink (RO) copies) and unused hardcopy Receipt for a Contribution to a Candidate at an Election (EC 20060) forms, including copies of any cancelled and voided hardcopy receipts, to EC no later than a month after election day. You should remind official agents and candidates of this requirement and that they must keep all official income tax receipts, including any that are cancelled or voided. Candidates using the EFR application are not required to return official receipts at this time as they are submitted with the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return (EC 20120). Candidates using hardcopy official receipts must include the yellow (CEO) copy when submitting their Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return (EC 20120).
Quantity of Blank Official Income Tax Receipts
Blank Receipt for a Contribution to a Candidate at an Election (EC 20060) forms are available in packages of 50 and can be provided to each candidate upon direct request to EC. The candidates or their official agents can request additional quantities of official receipts up to a month after election day. They can order receipts by sending an email to: Reçus officiels Financement politique – Official Receipts Political Financing <ROFP-ORPF@elections.ca>.
Inquiries Regarding Candidates' Election Expenses
You may receive inquiries from candidates, official agents, auditors, the public and the media regarding election expenses.
All inquiries must be referred to the Political Financing Support Network at 1-800-486-6563. You must not, at any time, attempt to answer questions or provide any information, interpretation or explanations on the financial requirements of the CEA. You must not attempt to answer questions regarding the completion of any election expenses documents.
Memoranda to Official Agents
The Political Financing Sector forwards two important memoranda to official agents.
- The first memorandum, sent a few days after election day, is to remind all the official agents of the requirements of the CEA and the Income Tax Act regarding the return of Receipt for a Contribution to a Candidate at an Election (EC 20060) forms, the submission of the Candidate's Statement of Personal Expenses (EC 20220) and all information pertaining to the reporting requirements.
- The second memorandum, sent two months after election day, reminds all the candidates and official agents of the requirements of the CEA regarding the deadlines for the submission of the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return (EC 20120) and other related documents.
Contacting the Returning Officer After Election Day
After closing the RO office, you must be available at an address accessible to candidates and official agents for up to four months after election day. If you are inaccessible during the four months after election day, the ARO must be available as an alternative.
9.6.6 Return of Hardcopy Official Income Tax Receipts
The candidates or their official agents must return the issued (pink (RO) copy) and unused, cancelled or voided hardcopy official tax receipts directly to EC no later than a month after election day.
The yellow (CEO) copy of EC 20060 and the electronic receipts should be sent directly to the Political Financing Sector by the official agent with the candidate's electoral return.
Note: Ensure that you emphasize to the candidates and official agents that failure to return even one of these Receipt for a Contribution to a Candidate (EC 20060) forms to EC within a month after election day will result in the forfeiture of the nomination deposit. Affidavits or explanations cannot be accepted for lost receipts.
9.6.7 Return of Undistributed Multimedia Kits for Federal Political Entities to Elections Canada
You must return all undistributed multimedia kits in your possession to:
Political Financing Sector
c/o Distribution Centre
440 Coventry Road