179-G-2021-07 – Instructions to permit the counting of certain ballots under Division 7 of Part 11 of the Canada Elections Act (Gaspésie – Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine)
Canada Elections Act
44th General Election
Instructions to permit the counting of certain ballots under Division 7 of Part 11 of the Canada Elections Act (Gaspésie – Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine)
Date of issue: September 15, 2021
Whereas the writs for the 44th General Election were issued on August 15, 2021, with polling day on September 20, 2021;
Whereas the returning officer for the electoral district of Gaspésie – Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine has established, in accordance with subsection 124(1) of the Canada Elections Act (the "Act"), as enacted by Adaptation 17-G-2021-01 of August 18, 2021, polling stations in institutions where seniors or persons with a disability reside;
Whereas subsection 124(4) of the Act, as enacted by the adaptation cited above, provides among other things that the provisions of the Act that relate to ordinary polls shall, in so far as they are applicable, apply to a polling station established under subsection 124(1);
Whereas the returning officer has prepared a list of electors for each polling station established pursuant to subsection 124(1);
Whereas, the election officers assigned to two polling stations established pursuant to subsection 124(1)–polling stations established for polling divisions 500 and 501–provided electors with a special ballot, an inner envelope and an outer envelope, while they should only have provided electors with a regular ballot;
Whereas, notwithstanding the election officers’ error, the returning officer has determined that each of the electors having voted was registered and has proven their identity and residence in accordance with section 143 of the Act;
Whereas when an elector does not complete an application for registration and special ballot before a special ballot is issued to the elector, the elector’s ballot cannot be counted pursuant to the process set out in sections 276 to 278 of the Act;
Whereas allowing these special ballots to be counted in the circumstances would not threaten the integrity of the vote, given that the electors affected by the error proved their identity and residence, that voting took place in the presence of an election officer and that the returning officer has indicated on the list of electors that each of these electors has voted;
And whereas section 179 of the Act provides the following:
179. For the purpose of applying this Part to, or adapting any provision of this Part in respect of, a particular circumstance, the Chief Electoral Officer may issue any instructions that he or she considers necessary in order to execute its intent.
Therefore, pursuant to section 179 of the Act, the Chief Electoral Officer issues the following instructions:
1. These instructions apply during the 44th General Election in the electoral district of Gaspésie – Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
2. An elector who voted at a polling station established pursuant to subsection 124(1) for polling division 500 or 501 is deemed to have made an application for registration and special ballot, and the application for registration and special ballot is deemed to have been accepted by the returning officer for the electoral district of Gaspésie – Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
3. An election officer referred to in section 273 shall not set aside the inner envelope received from an elector referred to at paragraph 2 on the ground set out at paragraph 277(1)(a) of the Act.
Chief Electoral Officer