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November 26, 2010 – Permitting the Setting Aside of a Ballot Stuck to Another Ballot

NOVEMBER 29, 2010 BY-ELECTION
IN THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF
WINNIPEG NORTH

ADAPTATION OF THE CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION 17(1) OF THAT ACT
FOR THE PURPOSES OF SETTING ASIDE A BALLOT STUCK TO ANOTHER
BALLOT PROVIDED TO AN ELECTOR
WHO VOTED AT AN ADVANCE POLL

WHEREAS a by-election was called on October 24, 2010 in the electoral district of Winnipeg North;

WHEREAS during the first day of advance polling in advance polling district number 604, poll workers noticed that two stubs in a ballot book that had been used were stuck together, and the number of ballots used for the vote was greater than the number of electors having voted by one;

WHEREAS in all likelihood, the elector who was handed the first of these ballots for which the stubs were stuck together also received the second ballot, stuck to the first one, because of an error by poll workers;

WHEREAS it is possible that the two ballots were deposited in the ballot box, still stuck together;

WHEREAS section 175 of the Canada Elections Act provides that, at the close of each day of voting at an advance poll, the deputy returning officer seals the ballots cast during each day in a distinct envelope supplied for this purpose;

WHEREAS subsection 283(3) of the Canada Elections Act provides a process for the counting of the votes, but does not provide that the envelope containing votes cast at one day of advance poll be opened before the counting of the ballots to remove, set aside and count as a spoiled ballot any ballot that, by inadvertence, was placed in a ballot box because it was stuck to a ballot provided to an elector for the vote;

WHEREAS this error by poll workers is an exceptional circumstances that, without an adaptation of the Canada Elections Act, would not allow for the number of ballots cast in the ballot box to balance with the number of electors having voted;

AND WHEREAS subsection 17(1) of the Act prescribes the following:

17. (1) During an election period or within 30 days after it, if an emergency, an unusual or unforeseen circumstance or an error makes it necessary, the Chief Electoral Officer may adapt any provision of this Act and, in particular, may extend the time for doing any act, subject to subsection (2), or may increase the number of election officers or polling stations.

THEREFORE, pursuant to subsection 17(1) of the Act, the Chief Electoral Officer hereby adapts the Canada Elections Act as follows for the purposes of the counting of the votes for advance polling district 604 in the electoral district of Winnipeg North :

  1. Paragraph 283(3) (b) is adapted to remove the comma and the words ", and seal it" at the end of the paragraph;


  2. A new paragraph 283(3) (e.1) is added, immediately after paragraph (e), as follows :

e.1) open the envelope containing the ballots cast on the first day of advance polling, examine each ballot while allowing each person present to also examine it without unfolding it to verify if one of them was placed in the ballot box stuck to another ballot; in such a case, the second ballot will be detached, placed in the envelope for spoiled ballots mentioned in paragraph (b), and the deputy returning officer shall write on this envelope the words " + 1" after the number already indicated on it, before sealing the envelope;.

November 26, 2010



Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada