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March 24, 2017 Adaptation to permit the returning officer of the electoral district of St-Laurent to establish a second polling station in an advance polling district where the number of electors warrants

April 3, 2017, by-election in the electoral district of St-Laurent (QC)

Adaptation to permit the returning officer of the electoral district of St-Laurent to establish a second polling station in an advance polling district where the number of electors warrants pursuant to subsection 17(1) of the Canada Elections Act

Whereas the 2017 federal by-election in the electoral district of St-Laurent was called on February 22, 2017, with advance polling starting on March 24, 2017;

Whereas subsection 168(3) of the Act provides that one polling station shall be established in each advance polling district;

Whereas the volume of electors who wish to vote at advance polls is unexpectedly high, resulting in significant wait times at one or several advance polling stations;

Whereas there is no provision in the Act allowing a returning officer to establish several polling stations for an advance polling district;

Whereas the establishment of more than one polling station in one or several advance polling districts would reduce wait times for electors and better ensure that they can exercise their right to vote;

And whereas subsection 17(1) of the Canada Elections Act provides that:

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, for the sole purpose of enabling electors to exercise their right to vote or enabling the counting of votes, 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, the Canada Elections Act is hereby adapted to add, after section 168, a new section 168.1 as follows:

168.1 (1) For the purposes of advance polling – and despite subsection 168(3) of the present Act – the returning officer of the electoral district of St-Laurent may, with the permission of the Chief Electoral Officer, establish a second polling station in an advance polling district if, because of the number of electors attending to vote in the advance polling district, the returning officer believes it necessary for the conduct of the vote.

(2) Before the holding of the vote at the second polling station mentioned in subsection (1), the returning officer of the electoral district of St-Laurent shall provide the deputy returning officer the election materials listed at subsection 119(1), including the list of electors for the advance polling district.

(3) After the counting of the votes, and for the application of section 287, the deputy returning officers for two advance polling stations established in any advance polling district in accordance with subsection (1) shall each prepare a statement of the vote. The returning officer shall report the results of the advance polling district by adding together the numbers of votes in favour of each candidate and the numbers of rejected ballots, as indicated in both statements of the vote.

March 24, 2017,

Stéphane Perrault
Acting Chief Electoral Officer