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Incarcerated electors who were unable to vote on account of errors made by liaison officers

ADAPTATION BY INSTRUCTION
PURSUANT TO SECTION 179 OF THE CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE 41ST GENERAL ELECTION

TO ALLOW INCARCERATED ELECTORS TO VOTE AFTER THEY WERE UNABLE TO DO SO ON ACCOUNT OF ERRORS MADE BY LIAISON OFFICERS

WHEREAS Division 5 of Part 11 of the Canada Elections Act provides a process for the voting of persons incarcerated in a correctional institution;

WHEREAS the vote under Division 5 was held on April 21;

WHEREAS section 250 of the Act provides that the polling stations for incarcerated electors shall be open from 9:00 a.m. on the polling day under Division 5 and shall be kept open until every elector who is registered has voted, but in no case shall be kept open later than 8:00 p.m.;

WHEREAS section 251 stipulates that prior to polling day under Division 5, each liaison officer shall ensure that an application for registration and special ballot is completed for every eligible elector of the correctional institution who wishes to vote;

WHEREAS in the Mountain Institution federal penitentiary in British Columbia, five electors who had completed an application for registration and special ballot had yet to vote when the liaison officer ended voting at 4:30 p.m. on polling day under Division 5;

WHEREAS nine other incarcerated electors who had completed an application for registration and special ballot in the Winnipeg Remand Centre in Manitoba were unable to vote in that institution because they were transferred to the Headingley Correctional Centre in Manitoba on April 21, but the liaison officer in that institution did not realize, despite having been informed in time, that these electors had already completed an application for registration and special ballot, and as a result did not invite them to vote;

WHEREAS these 14 electors were unable to exercise their right to vote due to errors made by liaison officers;

AND WHEREAS section 179 of the Canada Elections Act provides, for the purpose of applying Part 11 to or adapting any provision of that Part in respect of a particular circumstance, that the Chief Electoral Officer may issue any instructions that he or she considers necessary in order to execute its intent;

THEREFORE, the Chief Electoral Officer hereby adapts certain provisions of Division 5 of this Part as follows:

Notwithstanding subsection 245(1) and sections 250, 253, 254, 255, 256 and 260, voting shall take place as follows for the 14 electors who were unable to vote due to errors made by liaison officers:

Sections 257 and 258 are amended to replace the deputy returning officer with the liaison officer:

257. (1) Before delivering a special ballot to an elector who has already completed an application for registration and special ballot, the liaison officer shall require the elector to make and sign the declaration on the outer envelope.

(2) After the elector has signed the declaration on the outer envelope, the liaison officer shall

  • (a) sign the outer envelope; and
  • (b) give the elector a special ballot, an inner envelope and the outer envelope.

258. (1) The elector shall vote by writing on the special ballot the name of the candidate of his or her choice, folding the special ballot and, in the presence of the liaison officer,

  • (a) placing the ballot in the inner envelope and sealing the envelope; and
  • (b) placing the inner envelope in the outer envelope and sealing the outer envelope.

(2) The candidate shall be indicated on a special ballot by writing the candidate's given name or initials and surname. If two or more candidates have the same name, their political affiliations shall be indicated.

(3) If an elector has inadvertently handled a special ballot in such a manner that it cannot be used, the elector shall return it to the liaison officer who shall mark it as a spoiled ballot and give the elector another special ballot.


April 27, 2011



Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada