179-G-2019-10 – Additional voting day under Division 5 of Part 11 of the Canada Elections Act
Canada Elections Act
43rd General Election
Instructions aimed at allowing an additional voting day to be held under Divisions 5 of Part 11 of the Canada Elections Act
Date of issue: October 8, 2019
Whereas the writs for the 43rd General Election were issued on September 11, 2019;
Whereas the Canada Elections Act (“the Act”) Part 11, Division 5, permits every incarcerated elector who wishes to vote to make an application for registration and special ballot and to vote by special ballot;
Whereas subsection 245(1) of the Act provides that every incarcerated elector is entitled to vote by special ballot on the 12th day before polling day and subsection 250(2) of the Act provides for the voting hours at polling stations established in correctional institutions on the 12th day before polling day;
Whereas the 12th day before polling day, that is Wednesday, October 9, 2019, coincides with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur;
Whereas some incarcerated elector who are members of the observant Jewish community are unable to cast a ballot on that day;
Whereas the 6th day before polling day is the last day on which an application for registration and special ballot may be made under Divisions 3 and 4 of Part 11 of the Act, pursuant to paragraph 221(a) and subsection 232(1) of the Act, respectively, and that it is necessary, in order to maintain the integrity of the vote, to apply a similar limit to applications for registration and special ballot made under Division 5 of Part 11 of the Act;
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 43rd General Election.
2. Where an incarcerated elector informs the liaison officer that he or she will be unable, by reason of the elector’s sincerely held religious belief, to cast a ballot on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, the liaison officer may request the special voting rules administrator to authorize the opening of a polling station for an additional day.
3. Upon receipt of a request made pursuant to paragraph 2, the special voting rules administrator may—unless the special voting rules administrator has already authorized the opening of a polling station on one or more additional days at the correctional institution under instruction 179-G-2019-04 made on September 16, 2019—authorize the opening of a polling station on an additional day.
4. The additional day authorized under paragraph 3 must be as close as possible to the day provided by subsection 245(1) of the Act and may not be after the 6th day before polling day.
Chief Electoral Officer