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October 12, 2016 – Issuing of Transfer Certificates to Electors Who Go to the Wrong Polling Station Because of an Erroneous Voter Information Card

October 24, 2016 by-election in the electoral district of
Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner (Alberta)

Adaptation of subsection 158(4) of the Canada Elections Act in accordance with subsection 17(1) of that act to allow the issuing of transfer certificates to electors who go to the wrong polling station to vote because of an erroneous voter information card

whereas a by-election was called on September 18, 2016, for the electoral district of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner (Alberta) with polling day on October 24, 2016;

whereas due to a printing error, certain electors of the electoral district of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner received a notice of confirmation of registration (“voter information card”) on which the address of a polling station that is not their own is indicated;

whereas in spite of the fact that new voter information cards (replacement cards) indicating the correct polling station have been sent to the electors of the electoral district of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner, it is possible that some electors may go to the polling station that is erroneously indicated on the original cards sent out;

whereas sections 158 and 159 of the Canada Elections Act (“the Act”) allow for a transfer certificate to be issued to an elector to vote at a polling station other than their own;

whereas the situation described in subsection 158(4) of the Act does not specifically authorize the issuing of transfer certificates in the situation described above;

whereas the electors concerned should not be deprived of exercising their right to vote due to a printing error on voter information cards;

and whereas subsection 17(1) of the Act provides the following:

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, pursuant to subsection 17(1) of the Act, the Chief Electoral Officer hereby adapts the Canada Elections Act as follows for the purpose of issuing transfer certificates as necessary to electors who arrive, due to the aforementioned erroneous information, at the wrong polling station.

Subsection 158(4) of the Act is adapted by adding the words “or in cases in which a notice indicates the address of a wrong polling station” after “If an elector's polling station moves to another location after the notice of confirmation of registration has been sent” so that the provision reads:

158(4) If an elector’s polling station moves to another location after the notice of confirmation of registration has been sent, or in cases in which a notice indicates the address of a wrong polling station, an elector who attends at the polling station set out in the notice is entitled on request to receive a transfer certificate to vote at that polling station.



October 12, 2016

Stéphane Perrault
Associate Chief Electoral Officer