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Permitting Additional Poll Workers on Polling Day

41st GENERAL ELECTION
POLLING DAY MAY 2, 2011

ADAPTATION OF THE CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION 17(1) OF THAT ACT
FOR THE PURPOSES OF PERMITTING ADDITIONAL
POLL WORKERS ON POLLING DAY

WHEREAS the 41st federal general election was called on March 26, 2011 with polling day on May 2, 2011;

WHEREAS staffing levels at polling stations on polling day were established in the Act before legislative changes were adopted that require election officers to perform additional and more complex tasks; for instance, implementing the new voter identification requirements and transmitting information about who voted to candidates' representatives at 30-minute intervals;

WHEREAS such legislative changes and the imposition of additional administrative responsibilities have created a heavier burden for poll workers already tasked with carrying out many duties, necessitating the recruitment of central poll supervisors to facilitate the effective conduct of voting operations in polling stations where a heavy volume of voters is expected;

WHEREAS ensuring that proceedings at the polls are not delayed and that the conduct of the vote is smooth are important objectives underlying the Act;

WHEREAS the Act does not provide for the appointment of additional election officers where necessary to effectively conduct the election on polling day;

AND WHEREAS subsection 17(1) of the Act provides as follows:

17. (1) During an election period or within 30 days after it, if an emergency, an unusual or unforeseen circumstance or an error makes it necessary, the Chief Electoral Officer may adapt any provision of this Act and, in particular, may extend the time for doing any act, subject to subsection (2), or may increase the number of election officers or polling stations.

THEREFORE, pursuant to subsection 17(1) of the Act, the Chief Electoral Officer hereby adapts the Canada Elections Act as follows for the purposes of proceedings at the polls on polling day:

1. Subsection 124(2) is adapted to read as follows:

(2) When a returning officer establishes a polling site consisting of one or more polling stations, the returning officer may appoint a central poll supervisor to attend at the polling site on polling day to supervise proceedings and keep the returning officer informed of any matter that adversely affects, or is likely to adversely affect, the proceedings.

2. Subsection 135(1) is adapted by adding, immediately after paragraph (a), the following paragraph (a.1):

(a.1) any central poll supervisor mentioned in subsection 124(2), if the tasks he or she was appointed to carry out require that person to be present at a polling station.



April 3, 2011

Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada