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Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2022-07-13 and last amended on 2021-06-29. Previous Versions

PART 8Preparation for the Vote (continued)

Provision of Election Materials to Election Officers

Marginal note:Materials to be provided to election officers

  •  (1) Before voting begins, each returning officer shall provide, in accordance with the Chief Electoral Officer’s instructions, the election officers who are assigned to a polling station in the returning officer’s electoral district with

    • (a) enough ballots for at least the number of electors on the official list of electors for the polling station;

    • (b) a statement showing the number of ballots that are provided, with their serial numbers;

    • (c) the necessary materials for electors to mark their ballots;

    • (d) an adequate number of templates, provided by the Chief Electoral Officer, to enable electors who are visually impaired to mark their ballots without assistance;

    • (e) a copy of the instructions of the Chief Electoral Officer referred to in section 113;

    • (f) the official list of electors for use at the polling station, enclosing it when possible in the ballot box with the ballots and other supplies;

    • (g) a ballot box for polling day and a separate ballot box for each day of advance polling;

    • (h) the text of the oaths to be administered to electors; and

    • (i) the necessary envelopes, forms and other supplies that may be authorized or provided by the Chief Electoral Officer.

  • Marginal note:Safekeeping of election materials

    (2) Until the opening of the poll, the election officers are responsible for all election materials in their possession and shall take every precaution to ensure the safekeeping of those materials and to prevent any person from having unlawful access to them.

Polling Stations

Marginal note:Establishment of polling stations

 Each returning officer shall, for polling day, establish polling stations and assign each polling division to a polling station.

Marginal note:Accessibility

  •  (1) A polling station shall be in premises that are accessible to electors with a disability.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) If a returning officer is unable to secure suitable premises for a polling station that are accessible to electors with a disability, the returning officer may, with the prior approval of the Chief Electoral Officer, establish the polling station in premises that are not accessible to such electors.

  • Marginal note:Voting compartments

    (3) Each polling station shall contain a sufficient number of voting compartments arranged so that each elector is screened from observation and may, without interference or interruption, mark their ballot.

  • Marginal note:Table or desk

    (4) Each voting compartment shall be placed on a hard and smooth surface and shall have in it a suitable black lead pencil for the use of electors in marking their ballots.

  •  (1) [Repealed, 2018, c. 31, s. 85]

  • Marginal note:Polling station in school or other public building

    (2) Whenever possible, a returning officer shall establish a polling station in a school or other suitable public building.

  • Marginal note:Polling station in federal buildings

    (3) A returning officer may require the officer in charge of a building owned or occupied by the Government of Canada to make premises in that building available for use as a polling station, and the officer to whom the requirement is directed shall make every reasonable effort to comply with the requirement.

 [Repealed, 2018, c. 31, s. 86]

 [Repealed, 2018, c. 31, s. 86]

Marginal note:Mobile polling station

  •  (1) When a polling division consisting of two or more institutions is constituted under subsection 538(5), the returning officer may establish a mobile polling station to be located in each of those institutions successively.

  • Marginal note:Voting hours for mobile polling station

    (2) The returning officer shall set the times during which a mobile polling station will be located in the institutions referred to in subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (3) The returning officer shall give notice to the candidates of the itinerary of the mobile polling station in accordance with the instructions of the Chief Electoral Officer.

  • Marginal note:Provisions applicable to mobile polls

    (4) Subject to the instructions of the Chief Electoral Officer, the provisions of this Act that relate to ordinary polls shall, in so far as they are applicable, apply to mobile polling stations.

Marginal note:Information — location of polling stations

  •  (1) The returning officer for an electoral district and the Chief Electoral Officer shall make the addresses of all of the polling stations in the electoral district available to, respectively, each candidate in the electoral district and each political party that has endorsed a candidate in the electoral district. That information shall be made available on the later of the 24th day before polling day and the day on which the candidate’s nomination is confirmed, along with maps of the electoral district indicating the boundaries of each polling division and the location of each polling station.

  • Marginal note:Notification of change — on or before 5th day before polling day

    (2) If, on or before the 5th day before polling day, there is a change in the address of any polling station in the electoral district, the returning officer and the Chief Electoral Officer shall without delay make that information available to the candidates and the political parties respectively, along with maps of the electoral district indicating the new location of the polling station.

  • Marginal note:Electoral district maps — electronic format

    (2.1) The maps that the Chief Electoral Officer is to make available to political parties under subsections (1) and (2) shall be made available in electronic form or in formats that include electronic form.

  • Marginal note:Notification of change — after 5th day before polling day

    (3) If, after the 5th day before polling day, there is a change in the address of any polling station in the electoral district, the returning officer and the Chief Electoral Officer shall without delay make that information available to the candidates and the political parties respectively.

Prohibitions

Marginal note:Prohibitions re ballots, etc.

 No person shall

  • (a) forge a ballot;

  • (b) without authority under this Act, print a ballot or what purports to be or is capable of being used as a ballot at an election;

  • (c) being authorized under this Act to print a ballot, knowingly print more ballot papers than the person is authorized to print;

  • (d) print a ballot or what purports to be or is capable of being used as a ballot at an election with the intention of causing the reception of a vote that should not have been cast or the non-reception of a vote that should have been cast; or

  • (e) manufacture, import into Canada, have in possession, supply to an election officer, or use for the purpose of an election, or cause to be manufactured, imported into Canada, provided to an election officer, or used for the purposes of an election, a ballot box that contains a compartment into which a ballot may be secretly placed or a device by which a ballot may be secretly altered.

PART 9Voting

Voting Opportunities

Marginal note:Manner of voting

 An elector may vote

  • (a) in person at a polling station on polling day;

  • (b) in person at an advance polling station during the period provided for the advance poll; or

  • (c) by means of a special ballot issued in accordance with Part 11.

Polling Day

Hours

Marginal note:Hours of voting

  •  (1) The voting hours on polling day are

    • (a) from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., if the electoral district is in the Newfoundland, Atlantic or Central time zone;

    • (b) from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., if the electoral district is in the Eastern time zone;

    • (c) from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., if the electoral district is in the Mountain time zone; and

    • (d) from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., if the electoral district is in the Pacific time zone.

  • Marginal note:Exception — Saskatchewan

    (2) Despite subsection (1), if polling day is during a time of the year when the rest of the country is observing daylight saving time, the voting hours in Saskatchewan are

    • (a) in the case of an electoral district in the Central time zone, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and

    • (b) in the case of an electoral district in the Mountain time zone, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Marginal note:Daylight-saving time

 The Chief Electoral Officer may, if he or she considers it necessary, set the voting hours for the electoral district so that the opening and closing of its polls coincide with the opening and closing of the polls in other electoral districts in the same time zone.

Marginal note:When polls lie in two time zones

 When more than one local time is observed in an electoral district, the returning officer shall, with the prior approval of the Chief Electoral Officer, determine one local time to be observed for every operation prescribed by this Act, and shall publish the hours in the Notice of Election referred to in section 62.

Marginal note:By-elections

 If only one by-election is held or if more than one by-election is held on the same day and all of them are in the same time zone, the hours of voting are from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Time to Employees for Voting

Marginal note:Consecutive hours for voting

  •  (1) Every employee who is an elector is entitled, during voting hours on polling day, to have three consecutive hours for the purpose of casting his or her vote and, if his or her hours of work do not allow for those three consecutive hours, his or her employer shall allow the time for voting that is necessary to provide those three consecutive hours.

  • Marginal note:Time at convenience of employer

    (2) The time that the employer shall allow for voting under subsection (1) is at the convenience of the employer.

  • Marginal note:Transportation companies

    (3) This section and section 133 do not apply to an employee of a company that transports goods or passengers by land, air or water who is employed outside his or her polling division in the operation of a means of transportation, if the additional time referred to in subsection (1) cannot be allowed without interfering with the transportation service.

Marginal note:No penalty for absence from work to vote

  •  (1) No employer may make a deduction from the pay of an employee, or impose a penalty, for the time that the employer shall allow for voting under subsection 132(1).

  • Marginal note:Hourly, piece-work or other basis of employment

    (2) An employer who pays an employee less than the amount that the employee would have earned on polling day, had the employee continued to work during the time referred to in subsection 132(2) that the employer allowed for voting, is deemed to have made a deduction from the pay of the employee, regardless of the basis on which the employee is paid.

Marginal note:Prohibition

 No employer shall, by intimidation, undue influence or by any other means, interfere with the granting to an elector in their employ of the three consecutive hours for voting, as provided for in section 132.

Proceedings at the Poll

Marginal note:Who may be present at polling station

  •  (1) The only persons who may be present at a polling station on polling day are

    • (a) any field liaison officer;

    • (b) the returning officer, his or her representatives and any member of his or her staff whom he or she authorizes to be present;

    • (b.1) any election officer whom the returning officer authorizes to be present;

    • (c) the candidates;

    • (d) two representatives of each candidate or, in their absence, two electors to represent each candidate;

    • (e) an elector and a friend or relative who is helping him or her by virtue of subsection 155(1), only for the period necessary to enable the elector to vote;

    • (f) any observer or member of the Chief Electoral Officer’s staff whom he or she authorizes to be present;

    • (g) [Repealed, 2018, c. 31, s. 88]

    • (h) if a polling division of an electoral district in which a registered party’s leader is a candidate is assigned to the polling station, any media representative who — subject to any conditions that the Chief Electoral Officer considers necessary to protect the integ­rity of the vote and the privacy of any person present at the polling station — is authorized in writing by the Chief Electoral Officer to be present and take any photograph or make any audio or video recording of the candidates as they cast their votes; and

    • (i) the auditor referred to in section 164.1.

  • Marginal note:Delivery of representative’s authorization

    (2) When a representative of a candidate is admitted to a polling station, the representative shall deliver his or her written authorization from the candidate or the candidate’s official agent in the prescribed form, or a copy of it, to an election officer who is assigned to the polling station.

  • Marginal note:Representative authorized in writing

    (3) A representative bearing a written authorization referred to in subsection (2), or a copy of one, is a representative of the candidate for the purposes of this Act and is entitled to represent the candidate to the exclusion of any elector who might otherwise claim the right to represent the candidate.

  • Marginal note:Solemn declaration

    (4) Each representative of a candidate or each elector described in paragraph (1)(d), on being admitted to the polling station, shall make a solemn declaration in the prescribed form.

  • Marginal note:Solemn declaration

    (5) A candidate’s representative who is appointed to more than one polling station shall, before being admitted to the first polling station, make a solemn declaration in the prescribed form before an election officer who is assigned to that polling station. The representative is not required to make another solemn declaration on being admitted to any other polling station in the same electoral district if he or she presents a document, in the prescribed form, proving that he or she has already made the solemn declaration.

 
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