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Adaptation to permit the counting of advance poll ballots before the close of polls on polling day

42nd General Election

Adaptation to PERMIT The counting of Advance Poll Ballots before the close of Polling stations on Polling day where the number of ballots cast warrants pursuant to subsection 17(1) of the Canada Elections Act

Whereas the 42nd federal general election was called on August 2, 2015, with advance polling starting on October 9, 2015;

Whereas subsection 289(1) of the Act provides that the deputy returning officer and poll clerk shall, at the close of polling stations on polling day, attend at the place mentioned in the notices of advance poll to count advance poll ballots;

Whereas subsection 289(3) of the Act provides that no person shall make a count of the votes cast at an advance poll before the close of the polling stations on polling day;

Whereas the volume of votes cast at advance polls during this general election was unusually high;

Whereas there is concern that the combination of the high volume of votes cast at advance polls and an insufficient number of additional available election workers may unduly delay the count;

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

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 as follows:

289(1.1) Despite subsection (1), where more than 500 votes have been cast at an advance polling station, the returning officer may authorize the deputy returning officer of the advance poll to attend with the poll clerk to count advance poll ballots 2 hours before the close of the polling stations on polling day.

289(4) Despite subsection (3), where more than 500 votes have been cast at an advance polling station, the returning officer may authorize the count of the votes cast at the advance poll to begin 2 hours before the close of the polling stations on polling day.

289(5) No person shall transmit the partial result, purported result, or result of the vote in an advance poll district before the close of the polling stations on polling day.

October 16, 2015

Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer