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Adaptation to permit the use of photocopied ballot forms where necessary at advance and ordinary polling stations

42nd General Election

Adaptation of Section 151
of the Canada Elections Act
Pursuant to Section 17 of That Act
to Permit the use of Photocopied Ballot Forms Where Necessary at Advance and Ordinary Polling Stations

Whereas a general election with polling day on October 19, 2015 was called;

Whereas given higher than expected voter turnout at the 42nd general election there is reason to believe one or more advance or regular polling stations may run out of ballots prepared pursuant to section 116 of the Canada Elections Act and be unable to replenish those ballots before the close of advance or regular polls;

And whereas subsection 17(1) of the Canada Elections Act provides as follows:

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, for the sole purpose of enabling electors to exercise their right to vote or enabling the counting of votes, 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 the Canada Elections Act is hereby adapted by adding immediately after section 151 the following section 151.1

151.1 (1) Where on polling day or on an advance polling day, before the close of polls, it is evident to the deputy returning officer that:

(i) the ballot papers remaining in the possession of the deputy returning officer will be insufficient to permit the remaining electors who wish to vote or who are likely to vote in that polling station to vote; and

(ii) the supply of those ballot papers cannot be sufficiently replenished before the close of polls;

the deputy returning officer shall ensure that he or she always retains at least one ballot paper in his or her possession and shall, without delay, arrange for photocopies to be made of the front of the ballot paper for his or her polling station in sufficient supply to enable the remaining electors to vote.

(2) The deputy returning officer shall count and make a record of the total number of photocopies of the ballot made pursuant to this direction.

(3) The deputy returning officer shall keep all of those photocopies in his or her possession until used by an elector to vote.

(4) Except as provided for by subsections (5) and (6), the deputy returning officer shall not mark in any way a photocopy of the ballot made to permit electors in his or her polling station to vote prior to that photocopy being given to an elector to vote.

(5) The deputy returning officer shall sequentially number each photocopied ballot.

(6) Where in the circumstances described in subsection (1) a deputy returning officer cannot give an elector a ballot paper to vote as required by section 150 without giving away the last ballot paper in his or her possession, the deputy returning officer shall:

(i) initial the back of a photocopy of the ballot made pursuant to this direction;

(ii) give the elector that photocopy; and

(iii) explain to the elector how to indicate his or her choice and fold the ballot so that the initials of the deputy returning officer are visible and direct the elector to return the marked and folded ballot.

(7) An elector on being given a photocopy of a ballot by the deputy returning officer pursuant to this adaptation shall vote with it in the same way that the elector would vote with an ordinary ballot as set out in section 151 of the Canada Elections Act and the photocopy of the ballot shall constitute a ballot for the purposes of the Act and shall be treated as such.

(8) Before placing the photocopied ballot into the ballot box, the deputy returning officer shall remove the sequential number from the photocopied ballot and destroy it in full view of the elector and all other persons present.

(9) The poll clerk shall make a note in the Poll Book or Advance Poll Book, as the case may be, each time a photocopy of a ballot is given out as a ballot pursuant to this adaptation but shall not note the name of the elector to whom the photocopy was given.

(10) On the close of polls the deputy returning officer shall:

(i) add the total number of photocopied ballots to the total number of ballots issued by the returning officer and enter the total in box 9 of the Statement of the Vote;

(ii) place any unused photocopies of ballots in the Envelope for unused ballot papers (ordinary poll) or in the Record of votes cast (yellow copies) and unused ballots (advance poll), as the case may be;

(iii) proceed to conduct the other closing instructions in the usual manner.

October 12, 2015

Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer