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Special Voting Rules as Adapted for the Purposes of a By-election

Division 6

Counting of Votes at the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer


263. This Division applies to the counting of all special ballots cast in accordance with these Rules, except those referred to in Division 7.


264. (1) The counting of the special ballots shall be conducted by special ballot officers under the supervision of the special voting rules administrator.

Special ballot officers

(2) Special ballot officers shall work in pairs of persons representing different registered parties.


265. The Chief Electoral Officer shall prescribe security instructions for the safekeeping of special ballots, inner envelopes, outer envelopes and all other election documents, and instructions for the receiving, sorting and counting of special ballots.

Counting of votes

266. The counting of votes shall commence on a date to be fixed by the Chief Electoral Officer or, if no date is fixed, on Wednesday, the 5th day before polling day.

Setting aside of outer envelope

267. (1) The special ballot officers shall set aside an outer envelope unopened when they ascertain on its examination that

  • (a) the information concerning the elector, as described on the outer envelope, does not correspond with the information on the application for registration and special ballot;
  • (b) the envelope, other than an envelope in respect of an elector who has taken a vote under section 216, 243 or 259, does not bear the signature of an elector;
  • (c) the correct electoral district of the elector whose ballot is contained in the outer envelope cannot be ascertained;
  • (d) the outer envelope has been received in Ottawa by the special voting rules administrator after 6:00 p.m. on polling day; or
  • (e) the outer envelope relates to an electoral district for which the election was postponed in accordance with section 77 of the Act.

Procedure when elector votes more than once

(2) If, after receiving but before counting the outer envelopes, the special ballot officers ascertain that an elector has voted more than once, they shall lay the outer envelopes that relate to the elector aside unopened.

Disposition of outer envelopes that are laid aside

(3) When an outer envelope is laid aside unopened as described in subsection (1) or (2),

  • (a) the outer envelope shall be endorsed by the special voting rules administrator with the reason why it has been laid aside;
  • (b) at least two special ballot officers shall initial the endorsement; and
  • (c) in the case of an outer envelope laid aside under subsection (1), the ballot contained in it is deemed to be a spoiled ballot.

Special report

(4) The special voting rules administrator shall prepare a report in respect of the number of outer envelopes that are laid aside under this Division.

Duties of special ballot officers

268. Each pair of special ballot officers shall count the votes for only one electoral district or part of an electoral district at a time.

Rejection of ballots

269. (1) Each pair of special ballot officers shall, on examining a special ballot, reject it if

  • (a) it has not been supplied by the Chief Electoral Officer;
  • (b) it is not marked;
  • (c) it is marked with a name other than the name of a candidate;
  • (d) it is marked with the names of more than one candidate; or
  • (e) there is any writing or mark on it by which the elector could be identified.

Elector's intent

(2) No special ballot shall be rejected for the sole reason that the elector has incorrectly written the name of a candidate, if the ballot clearly indicates the elector's intent.

Disputed ballots

(3) If a dispute arises as to the validity of a special ballot, it shall be referred to the special voting rules administrator, whose decision is final.

Note of dispute

(4) The number of disputed special ballots and the name of the electoral district in which they were cast are to be noted by the special ballot officers.

Statements of the vote

270. (1) Each pair of special ballot officers shall prepare a statement of the vote in the prescribed form and deliver it to the special voting rules administrator.


(2) The special voting rules administrator shall keep the statements of the vote in safe custody until the day after the communication of the results under section 280.

Copy to special ballot officer

(3) On request, after the day that the results are communicated, a special ballot officer may be given a copy of the statement of the vote that he or she prepared.

Chief Electoral Officer to be informed of results of vote

271. Without delay after the counting of the votes for an electoral district where a by-election has been held, the special voting rules administrator shall inform the Chief Electoral Officer of

  • (a) the number of votes counted for each candidate;
  • (b) the total number of votes counted; and
  • (c) the number of rejected ballots.

Sending of material to Chief Electoral Officer

272. As soon as practicable after the counting of the votes has been completed, the special voting rules administrator shall send to the Chief Electoral Officer, in separate envelopes,

  • (a) the lists of electors;
  • (b) all other documents and election materials received from special ballot officers;
  • (c) the oaths of office; and
  • (d) the complete files of correspondence, reports and records in his or her possession.