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Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Following the March 19, 2012, By-election Held in Toronto–Danforth and the November 26, 2012, By-elections Held in Calgary Centre, Durham and Victoria

Introduction


This report covers the by-election held on March 19, 2012, in the electoral district of Toronto–Danforth (Ontario) and the three by-elections held on November 26, 2012, in the electoral districts of Calgary Centre (Alberta), Durham (Ontario) and Victoria (British Columbia).

According to subsection 534(2) of the Canada Elections Act, if one or more by-elections are held in a year, the Chief Electoral Officer must, within 90 days after the end of the year, produce a report that sets out "any matter or event that has arisen or occurred in connection with the administration of the Chief Electoral Officer's office since the last report ... and that he or she considers should be brought to the attention of the House of Commons."

For the 2012 by-elections, Elections Canada carried over the same administrative improvements to the conduct of elections that had been introduced during the 41st general election, held in May 2011. Examples include making improvements to ensure greater accessibility of polling sites, providing assistance to electors in acute care facilities so that they could vote by special ballot and allowing the use of the voter information card at specific voting locations to facilitate proof of identity and address.

Two events arose during the May 2011 general election that generated much attention. The first concerned irregularities in polling day procedures that were identified in the riding of Etobicoke Centre (Ontario). As a result, Elections Canada initiated an independent review of compliance with polling day procedures. In the interim, measures were taken during the November 26, 2012, by-elections to improve compliance with polling day procedures and to understand how improved monitoring could affect overall levels of compliance. Refer to On-site conformity advisor initiative for November by-elections in section 1.1 for further details.

In addition, allegations of fraudulent telephone calls were made during the May 2011 general election, but to our knowledge at this time, the issue did not materialize during the 2012 by-elections. Refer to Electoral law enforcement in section 1.4 for details on communications received during the by-elections.