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October 10, 2008 – Ballot Boxes

40TH GENERAL ELECTION


ADAPTATION OF SECTION 175
OF THE CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SUBSECTION 175(5.1)
PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION 17(1) OF THAT ACT

WHEREASthe 40th federal general election was called on September 7, 2008 with polling day on October 14, 2008;

WHEREASsubsection 175(5) of the Canada Elections Act provides that in the intervals between voting hours at the advance polling station and until the counting of the ballots on polling day, the deputy returning officer shall keep the sealed ballot box in his or her custody;

WHEREAS, as a result of information obtained by the media, the Chief Electoral Officer has reason to believe that one or more ballot boxes were interfered with while they were under the custody of one or more deputy returning officers;

WHEREAS paragraph 167(2)(d) of the Canada Elections Act provides thatNo person shall wilfully destroy, take, open or otherwise interfere with a ballot box or book or packet of ballots;

WHEREAS this is an unusual circumstance that may threaten the integrity of the electoral process;

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 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 as follows by the addition of subsection 175(5.1) immediately after subsection 175(5.1):

175(5.1) Despite paragraph (5), if the Chief Electoral Officer has reason to believe that one or more ballot boxes were interfered with while they were in the custody of one or more deputy returning officers, he may authorize the returning officer to recover, with the assistance of his or her staff, the box or boxes that the Chief Electoral Officer believes should be recovered to protect the integrity of the electoral process and to keep them in the returning officer's custody.


October 10, 2008




Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada