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Setting aside of elector's special ballot and preservation of elector's right to vote where elector is given erroneous information by an election officer

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 a Special Ballot Marked by an Elector on the Basis of Erroneous Information Given to the Elector by an Election Officer and Providing a new Special Ballot to the Elector

Whereas sections 227 and 238 of the Canada Elections Act ("the Act") provide that an elector voting by special ballot shall vote by writing the name of the candidate of his or her choice on the special ballot;

Whereas if an election officer provides an elector with erroneous information, causing the elector to improperly mark the special ballot, the elector cannot be given a new special ballot on which the elector can write the name of the candidate of his or her choice unless the elector's original outer envelope is set aside;

Whereas there is no provision in the Act that allows for an outer envelope to be set aside and for an elector to be given a new special ballot where the elector has improperly marked his or her special ballot due to erroneous information given to the elector by an election officer;

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 the Act, the Chief Electoral Officer hereby issues instructions to the special voting rules administrator and all returning officers, as follows:

1. Where the special voting rules administrator has determined, after an elector has voted by special ballot, that the elector has improperly marked the special ballot due to erroneous information given to the elector by an election officer, and the elector wishes to receive a new special ballot on which the elector can write the name of the candidate of his or her choice, the elector is deemed not to have been issued a special ballot and not to have voted by special ballot.

2. With respect to an elector described above, the special voting rules administrator shall:

(a) without delay, advise the elector and the election officer who accepted the elector's application for registration and special ballot that the elector is deemed not to have been issued a special ballot and not to have voted by special ballot; and

(b) instruct the special ballot officers or deputy returning officers, as the case may be, to set aside unopened the outer envelope and to follow the procedure described in subsection 267(3) or 277(3), respectively, of the Act, as if the outer envelope had been set aside for one of the reasons described in section 267 or 277.

September 22, 2015



Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer