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October 9, 2008 – Misplaced Registration Forms – Incarcerated Electors

40TH GENERAL ELECTION
POLLING DAY OCTOBER 14, 2008



ADAPTATION OF THE CANADA ELECTIONS ACT BY ADDITION OF A NEW SUBSECTION 245(4) PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION 17(1) OF THAT ACT



WHEREAS the 40th federal general election was called on September 7, 2008, with polling day to be held on October 14, 2008;

WHEREAS Division 5 of Part 11 of the Canada Elections Act provides a process to allow for incarcerated electors to vote during a federal election, and subsection 245(1) of the Act provides that every person who is incarcerated and who is otherwise qualified to vote under the Act is entitled to vote under that Division on the 10th day before polling day;

WHEREAS subsection 245(2) of that Act provides that an elector is not entitled to vote under this Division unless he or she has signed an application for registration and special ballot;

WHEREAS the applications for registration and special ballot of some 15 incarcerated electors in range 1b of the Millhaven Assessment Unit were misplaced, and have never been found;

WHEREAS on the day of the vote of incarcerated electors pursuant to the Act, movement in the Millhaven Institution was very controlled, and electors had to be escorted to the voting place;

WHEREAS because of the very controlled procedure followed by correctional staff for escorting electors to the polling place, these electors did not raise the fact that they had not yet voted on that day since they erroneously assumed that they would be escorted to vote at some later point during the day;

WHEREAS voting ceased at the Millhaven Institution without these electors being admitted to vote;

WHEREAS the voting rules administrator has ascertained that these electors did not vote under this Division of the Act and has confirmed with the Warden of the Millhaven Institution and with the Correctional Service of Canada that there are reasonable grounds to believe that these electors did not vote because of circumstances beyond their control;


AND WHEREAS subsection 17(1) of the Canada Elections 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, section 245 of the Canada Elections Act is hereby adapted by adding the following subsection (4) immediately after subsection 245(3):

245. (4) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), if the special voting rules administrator ascertains that some electors did not vote under this Division of the Act and has reasonable grounds to believe that the applications for registration and special ballot of these incarcerated electors were misplaced on the day of the vote provided at subsection (1) and that these electors were therefore not escorted to the voting place although they were under the mistaken belief that they would be at some point during the voting period, the special voting rules administrator may, with the prior approval of the Chief Electoral Officer, set another day and time when these electors can vote, and these electors may vote on this day and time if they have completed an application for registration and special ballot.

October 9, 2008




Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada