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Incarcerated electors unable to vote because of error by liaison officer

42nd General Election
Instructions To Allow Incarcerated Electors To Vote After They Were Unable To Do So Due To An Error Made By A Liaison Officer

Whereas the 42nd general election was called on August 2, 2015, with polling day on October 19, 2015;

Whereas Division 5 of Part 11 ("Division 5") of the Canada Elections Act (the "Act") provides a process for voting by electors incarcerated in a correctional institution;

Whereas polling day under Division 5 was on October 9, 2015;

Whereas subsection 251(1) of the Act stipulates that, prior to polling day under Division 5, each liaison officer in a correctional institution shall ensure that an application for registration and special ballot is completed for every elector in the institution who is entitled to vote under Division 5 and who wishes to vote;

Whereas the liaison officer in the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre in the electoral district of Thunder BayŚRainy River required electors in that institution who wished to complete an application for registration and special ballot to make a written request to complete the application and send the request to the liaison officer;

Whereas the Act contains no provision requiring electors who wish to complete an application for registration and special ballot to make a written request to complete the application and send the request to the liaison officer;

Whereas some electors in the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre made their written requests to complete an application for registration and special ballot on or before polling day under Division 5, but the requests were not received by the liaison officer until after that polling day, and, as a result, the electors who had made the requests were not permitted to vote on that polling day;

Whereas these electors were unable to exercise their right to vote due to an error made by a liaison 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 the returning officer in the electoral district of Thunder Bay–Rainy River, as follows:

1. The returning officer in the electoral district of Thunder Bay–Rainy River shall send a deputy returning officer to the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre on October 16, 2015, for the purpose of administering the vote under Division 5 for the incarcerated electors in that institution who sent a written request to complete an application for registration and special ballot to the liaison officer on or before polling day under Division 5, but who were not permitted to vote because their request was not received by that polling day.

2. For the purposes of the instruction above, the provisions of Division 5 shall apply, with any necessary modifications, as if October 16, 2015, were polling day under that division.



October 15, 2015

Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer