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Instructions to set aside the outer envelope of one or more Canadian Forces electors who voted before the start of the voting period because of a deputy returning officer's error

Instructions of the chief electoral officer
issued pursuant to section 179 of the Canada Elections Act
For the purpose of setting aside the outer envelope of
one or more Canadian forces electors who voted before the start of the voting period because of
a deputy returning officer's error

Whereas section 190 of the Canada Elections Act (hereafter "Act") provides that the voting period for Canadian Forces electors (hereafter "voting period") begins 14 days before polling day and ends 9 days before polling day;

Whereas the deputy returning officer for a vote being held in a Canadian Forces unit has, during the voting period, the duty to keep available a list of candidates by electoral district for electors to consult pursuant to section 210 of the Act;

Whereas subsection 213(2) of the Act provides that a Canadian Forces elector votes by writing on a special ballot the name of the candidate of his or her choice;

Whereas a vote erroneously held before the start of the voting period in a Canadian Forces unit may cause electors of the unit to vote without the complete and final list of confirmed candidates, since some candidates may not be confirmed when the early vote is held and some confirmed candidates may still resign before the start of the voting period;

Whereas, in consequence of the above, the ballot cast by a Canadian Forces elector during a vote erroneously held early in the Canadian Forces unit may be voided if his or her chosen candidate is not confirmed or resigns before the closing date prescribed in the Act;

Whereas the Act does not provide for special ballot officers to set aside, under section 267, an outer envelope by reason of a Canadian Forces elector having voted outside the voting period;

Whereas the Act does not provide for a second special ballot to be issued to the Canadian Forces elector in such circumstances;

And whereas section 179 of the Act provides the following:

179. For the purpose 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 Act, the Chief Electoral Officer hereby issues the following instructions to the special voting rules administrator:

1. Where one or more Canadian Forces electors cast their ballot before the start of the voting period because a deputy returning officer erroneously held a vote in the unit before the voting period, the special voting rules administrator has the power to rule, to the extent that time allows for sending election material to hold a new vote, that the elector or electors are deemed not to have been issued a special ballot and not to have voted and that they must be informed of the matter.

2. In cases where the special voting rules administrator uses the power accorded in the above paragraph and rules that the elector or electors are deemed not to have been issued a special ballot and not to have voted and that they must be informed of the matter, he or she will:

(a) see to it that the elector or electors and the deputy returning officer who held the early vote are advised without delay that the elector or electors are deemed not to have been issued a special ballot and not to have voted by special ballot;

(b) instruct the special ballot officers to set aside, unopened, the outer envelope of the elector or electors; and

(c) send the required election material to the unit of the elector or electors in order for them to vote again during the voting period.

September 18, 2015



Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer