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October 19, 2015 – Adaptation to Delay the Application of Certain Special Voting Rule Procedures

OCTOBER 19, 2015, BY-ELECTIONS
in the ELECTORAL DISTRICTS of
OTTAWA WEST—NEPEAN, PETERBOROUGH AND SUDBURY


ADAPTATION OF THE
SPECIAL VOTING RULES AS ADAPTED FOR THE
PURPOSES OF A BY-ELECTION

PURSUANT TO SECTION 179 OF THE CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
FOR THE PURPOSES OF DELAYING THE APPLICATION OF CERTAIN SPECIAL VOTING RULE PROCEDURES

WHEREAS by-elections were called on May 3, 2015, in the electoral districts of Ottawa West—Nepean, Peterborough and Sudbury, Ontario, with polling day on October 19, 2015;

WHEREAS pursuant to subsection 56.1(2) of the Canada Elections Act (the "Act") October 19, 2015, is fixed as polling day for the next general election;

WHEREAS if a general election is called during the election period of a by-election, the writ for the by-election is deemed withdrawn, the by-election is superseded and any special ballots cast during the by-election are set aside and not counted;

WHEREAS electors who vote by special ballot in a by-election that is superseded by a general election must go through the special voting process again or vote at the polls if they intend to cast a ballot at the general election. Some electors may not understand this process and they may believe that they have voted in the general election when in fact they have submitted a ballot for the by-election that will not be counted if the by-election is superseded by a general election;

WHEREAS the Special Voting Rules as Adapted for the Purposes of a By-election require certain special voting procedures to occur at or near the beginning of the election period;

WHEREAS the election period for the by-elections called on May 3, 2015, is significantly longer than normal;

WHEREAS waiting until the 36th day before polling day at the by-election to undertake these procedures will lessen the likelihood that electors will have voted by special ballot at the by-election and then have to vote again at the general election, but will give electors the same amount of time to vote by special ballot that they would have had in a standard election period;

WHEREAS, in addition, the holding of the by-elections should not preclude certain Canadian Forces electors from being able to amend their statement of ordinary residence for the purposes of a general election;

AND WHEREAS section 179 of the Act provides the following:

179. For the purposes of applying this Part [Part 11 of the Act] to, or adapting any provision of this Part in respect of, a particular circumstance, the Chief Electoral Officer may issue any instructions that he or she considers necessary in order to execute its intent.

THEREFORE, pursuant to section 179 of the Act, the Chief Electoral Officer hereby adapts the Special Voting Rules as Adapted for the Purposes of a By-election as follows:

1. Paragraph 189(a) is adapted by deleting the words "without delay after the issue of a writ for a by-election", so that section 189 will read:

189. The special voting rules administrator shall distribute to any person or place that the special voting rules administrator considers appropriate

(a) a sufficient quantity of election materials;

(b) the list of candidates established under section 187, without delay after it is established.

2. Paragraph 194(6)(a) is adapted by deleting the words "14 days after polling day" and adding the words "when it is received by the special voting rules administrator, but only for the purposes of a general election", so that the chapeau to the paragraph and the paragraph read:

3. Paragraph 195(6)(a) is adapted by deleting the words "14 days after polling day" and adding the words "when it is received by the commanding officer, but only for the purposes of a general election", so that the chapeau to the paragraph and the paragraph read:

  • (6) An amendment to a statement of ordinary residence takes effect
  • (a) if it is made during a by-election, when it is received by the commanding officer, but only for the purposes of a general election; and

4. Subsection 213(1) is adapted by deleting the words "As soon as possible after the issue of a writ for" and adding the words "Beginning on the 36th day before polling day", so that the subsection reads:

213. (1) Beginning on the 36th day before polling day at a by-election, the special voting rules administrator shall send to every elector whose ordinary residence, as indicated in the elector's statement of ordinary residence, is located in the electoral district in which the by-election has been called, a voting kit containing a special ballot, an inner envelope and an outer envelope.

5. Subsection 227(1) is adapted by deleting the words "and after the issue of a writ for" and adding the words "but not before the 36th day before polling day at", so that the subsection reads:

227. (1) After approving an application for registration and special ballot, but not before the 36th day before polling day at a by-election in an electoral district, the Chief Electoral Officer shall send a special ballot, an inner envelope and an outer envelope to every elector whose name is entered in the register, at the address referred to in paragraph 223(1)(g).

6. Section 237 is renumbered as subsection 237(1) and is adapted by adding the words "In the case of an elector who presents an application for registration and special ballot in person at the office of the returning officer and" so that the subsection reads:

237. (1) In the case of an elector who presents an application for registration and special ballot in person at the office of the returning officer and subject to section 237.1, on acceptance of an elector's application for registration and special ballot, the elector shall be given a special ballot, or if section 241 applies, a ballot, an inner envelope and an outer envelope.

7. A new subsection 237(2) is added as follows:

(2) In the case of an elector who sends an application for registration and special ballot to the returning officer in the elector's electoral district or to the special voting rules administrator, an elector whose application for registration and special ballot has been accepted shall be sent a special ballot, an inner envelope and an outer envelope, but not before the 36th day before polling day.

8. Subsection 250(1) is adapted by deleting the words "without delay after being appointed" and adding the words "beginning on the 36th day before polling day", so that the subsection reads:

250. (1) A liaison officer shall, beginning on the 36th day before polling day, post a notice in the prescribed form in a prominent place in the correctional institution that informs electors that a by-election has been called, and of the dates by which the special voting rules administrator must receive the applications for registration and special ballot as well as the ballots cast.

9. Subsection 251(1) is adapted by adding the words "beginning on the 36th day before polling day", so that the subsection reads:

251. (1) Each liaison officer shall ensure, beginning on the 36th day before polling day, that an application for registration and special ballot in the prescribed form is made available to every elector of the correctional institution who wishes to vote and whose place of ordinary residence as determined under subsection (2) is located in the electoral district where the by-election is taking place.

May 11, 2015



Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada