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Special ballots cast without completed applications

42nd General Election

Instructions of the Chief Electoral Officer Issued Pursuant to Section 179 of the Canada Elections Act for the Purpose of Permitting, in the Electoral Districts of Delta (British Columbia) and Northwest Territories (Northwest Territories), the Counting of Special Ballots Cast Under Division 4 of Part 11 of That Act by Electors who did not First Complete Applications for Registration and Special Ballot

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

Whereas section 232 of the Canada Elections Act (the "Act") provides that an elector may vote under Division 4 of Part 11 of the Act if the elector's application for registration and special ballot is received by a returning officer in an electoral district or by the Special Voting Rules Administrator by the deadline for application;

Whereas section 237 of the Act provides that, 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, an inner envelope and an outer envelope;

Whereas section 237.1 of the Act provides that if an elector goes to the office of a returning officer to receive his or her special ballot, then before receiving it, the elector shall prove his or her identity and residence in accordance with section 143 of the Act;

Whereas, in the electoral districts of Delta (British Columbia) and Northwest Territories (Northwest Territories), an election officer erroneously did not require some electors from the electoral district who voted under Division 4 of Part 11 to complete an application for registration and special ballot before issuing a special ballot, inner envelope and outer envelope to the electors;

Whereas each elector described above did provide proof of identity and residence, proving that the elector was entitled to vote in the electoral district, and did complete and sign the outer envelope in which was contained the elector's special ballot and inner envelope;

Whereas, when an elector does not complete an application for registration and special ballot before a special ballot is issued to the elector, the elector's ballot cannot be counted pursuant to the verification and counting process set out in sections 276 to 278 of the Act and in instructions issued to election officers by the Chief Electoral Officer, with the result that the electors in question would not have their votes counted due to the aforementioned error;

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 returning officer in the electoral district of Delta, to the person designated to act in the place of the returning officer in the electoral district of Northwest Territories, and to the deputy returning officers and poll clerks in the offices of those persons, as follows:

1. Where, due to erroneous instructions given by an election officer, an elector has not completed an application for registration and special ballot, but the elector nonetheless was issued and did cast a special ballot, if, in the case of the electoral district of Delta, the returning officer, and, in the case of Northwest Territories, the person designated to act in the place of the returning officer, is satisfied that the ballot was properly cast, that the elector's place of ordinary residence is in the electoral district and that the elector provided proof of identity and residence before being issued a special ballot:



October 15, 2015

Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer