Search Results | Clear Search | Previous (in doc) | Next (in doc) | Prev Doc | Next Doc

View Complete Statute

This Act is current to June 1, 2022
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Election Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 106

Part 6 — Voting

Division 1 — Voting Opportunities

Voting opportunities

73   A voter for an electoral district who meets the applicable requirements may vote in an election for the electoral district by one of the following:

(a) final voting under section 96 at a final voting opportunity;

(b) advance voting under section 97 at an advance voting opportunity;

(c) voting under section 98 at a special voting opportunity, subject to any applicable restrictions referred to in section 77 (2);

(d) voting under Division 5 of this Part using an alternative voting option.

Time off from work for voting

74   (1) Subject to subsections (1.1) and (1.2), an employee who is entitled to vote in an election or who, on registration, will be entitled to vote in the election is entitled to have 4 consecutive hours free from employment during voting hours for final voting.

(1.1) If both of the following apply, an employee is entitled to have 4 consecutive hours free from employment during voting hours for advance voting:

(a) the employee has hours of employment scheduled on final voting day such that the employee would not have 4 consecutive hours free from employment during voting hours;

(b) the employee is willing to vote at an advance voting opportunity.

(1.2) An employee who is entitled to time off under subsection (1.1) is not entitled to time off under subsection (1).

(2) If an individual's hours of employment do not allow for the consecutive hours referred to in subsection (1) or (1.1), the individual's employer must allow the individual time off from employment to provide those hours.

(3) The employer may set time off required by subsection (2) as best suits the convenience of the employer.

(4) An employer must not

(a) without reasonable justification, fail to grant to an employee sufficient time off as required by subsection (2), or

(b) make a deduction in pay for the time off or exact any penalty from the employee for the time off.

(5) The following are not entitled to time off under this section:

(a) election officials and individuals employed or retained by the chief electoral officer or a district electoral officer to work on final voting day;

(b) individuals who, by reason of employment, are in such remote locations that they would be unable to reasonably reach any voting place during voting hours.

Final voting opportunities for electoral district

75   (1) As soon as reasonably possible after an election is called for an electoral district, the district electoral officer must establish the voting places for final voting by specifying a voting place for each voting area within the electoral district.

(2) A voting place for a final voting opportunity must be in or near the voting area for which it is being conducted.

(3) The voting hours for final voting are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time or Pacific Daylight Saving Time, as applicable, on final voting day.

Advance voting opportunities for an electoral district

76   (1) Advance voting opportunities must be held

(a) during a period that consists of 6 consecutive days and commences 8 days before final voting day for an election,

(b) if final voting day for an election falls on a Monday, during a period that consists of 6 consecutive days and commences 9 days before final voting day for the election, or

(c) if one or more of the dates for an advance voting opportunity to be held under paragraph (a) or (b) falls on a holiday other than a Sunday, on 6 days during a period established by the chief electoral officer that

(i) commences 12 days before final voting day for the election, and

(ii) ends at least 2 days before final voting day for the election.

(2) As soon as reasonably possible after an election is called for an electoral district, the district electoral officer must establish one or more voting places for advance voting opportunities such that voters in different parts of the electoral district have a reasonable opportunity to attend at least one advance voting opportunity.

(3) The voting hours for an advance voting opportunity are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on each day referred to in subsection (1).

Special voting opportunities

77   (1) In order to give voters who may otherwise be unable to vote an opportunity to do so, the district electoral officer may establish one or more special voting opportunities under this section.

(2) If a special voting opportunity is within a class established by the chief electoral officer by regulation, any restrictions established by the regulation on who may vote apply.

(3) For each special voting opportunity, the district electoral officer must establish

(a) the place where the voting opportunity is to be conducted,

(b) the date of the voting opportunity, and

(c) the voting hours for the voting opportunity, such that the time established does not extend later than the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting.

(4) If a site-based voting area is established under section 80 (4), voting under this section for the voting area is deemed to be final voting for that voting area and a final voting opportunity under section 75 is not required.

(5) If authorized by the chief electoral officer, a special voting opportunity may be held outside the boundaries of the electoral district for which the district electoral officer is responsible.

(6) The chief electoral officer may establish different election procedures at a special voting opportunity from those established under other provisions of this Act, in which case the procedures established by the chief electoral officer apply and the others do not.

(7) Without limiting subsection (6), if authorized by the chief electoral officer, the district electoral officer may limit the number of scrutineers who may be present at a special voting opportunity, subject to the requirement that at least 2 scrutineers must be allowed to be present.

(8) If the number of scrutineers permitted to be present is limited under subsection (7), the scrutineers must be selected

(a) by agreement among the candidates in the election, or

(b) if agreement cannot be reached, by lot conducted by the district electoral officer to select the candidates, who may each designate one scrutineer to attend the special voting opportunity.

Specified alternative voting options

78   (1) As soon as reasonably possible after the district electoral officer establishes an office for use during an election, voting at the office of the district electoral officer as described in section 104 must be available from that office until 4 hours before the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting.

(2) Voting by mail-in voting must be available as soon as reasonably possible after mail-in voting packages have been prepared.

Notice of voting opportunities

79   (1) The chief electoral officer must arrange for notice regarding voting opportunities to be given to voters.

(2) Without limiting the discretion of the chief electoral officer, notice may be given by one or more of the following methods:

(a) mailing to individual voters a notice indicating where they are entitled to vote;

(b) publishing notice in newspapers or other media;

(c) providing a central telephone information service.

Division 1.1Voting Administration Tools

Voting administration tools

79.01   (1) In this Part and Part 7, "voting administration tools" means the following types of tools:

(a) electronic voting books;

(b) ballot printers;

(c) vote-counting equipment;

(d) any other prescribed types of tools to assist in the conduct of voting proceedings.

(2) Voting administration tools under subsection (1) (d) must not include the following:

(a) tools to enable voting using the internet;

(b) tools to enable a voter to record a voter's candidate choice that does not involve marking a ballot paper.

(3) For each election, the chief electoral officer may

(a) specify whether one or more types of voting administration tools are to be used for the following:

(i) a specified electoral district or a specified class of electoral districts;

(ii) a specified geographic area or community within an electoral district;

(iii) a specified voting opportunity or a specified class of voting opportunities;

(iv) a specified alternative voting option or a specified class of alternative voting options;

(v) a specified voting place or a specified class of voting places;

(vi) any other prescribed circumstance in which, or location at which, one or more voting administration tools are to be used, and

(b) specify the following in accordance with voting administration tools specified:

(i) the number of election officials required to conduct the election proceedings;

(ii) the responsibilities of election officials in relation to the voting proceedings in which the voting administration tools are used.

(4) If the chief electoral officer specifies anything under this section, the chief electoral officer must publish the matters specified on an authorized Elections BC internet site as follows:

(a) in the case of a general election conducted in accordance with section 23 (2) or (3) of the Constitution Act, at least 60 days before the date the election is called;

(b) in the case of a by-election, or a general election that is not conducted in accordance with section 23 (2) or (3) of the Constitution Act, as soon as practicable after the date the election is called.

(5) If, in the opinion of the chief electoral officer, circumstances arise in which changing a matter specified under this section would facilitate the conduct of voting proceedings, the chief electoral officer

(a) may make the change, and

(b) must publish the change on an authorized Elections BC internet site as soon as practicable.

Use of electronic voting book

79.02   (1) This section applies if the chief electoral officer specifies the use of an electronic voting book under section 79.01.

(2) The chief electoral officer must establish procedures respecting the use of an electronic voting book, which must include the following:

(a) procedures in relation to how the electronic voting book is to be used by the chief electoral officer, district electoral officers and election officials;

(b) procedures in relation to the security of the electronic voting book, including how the data in the electronic voting book are to be stored and protected from damage or loss;

(c) procedures in relation to how and when the data in the electronic voting book may be accessed;

(d) procedures in relation to addressing circumstances in which there may be connectivity issues, software issues or similar issues that prevent or compromise the use of the electronic voting book;

(e) procedures in relation to anything else the chief electoral officer considers necessary for conducting voting proceedings and maintaining the integrity of voting proceedings in which the electronic voting book is used.

Use of ballot printer

79.03   (1) This section applies if the chief electoral officer specifies the use of ballot printers under section 79.01.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), a ballot printer may be used to print a ballot only in the following circumstances:

(a) if a voter is voting for another electoral district for which an election is being conducted at the same time as the election in which the voter is voting;

(b) if there are not sufficient numbers of pre-printed ballots.

(3) The chief electoral officer may direct the use of a ballot printer for a voter voting for another voting area in the same electoral district as the voting area in which the voter is resident.

(4) The chief electoral officer must establish procedures for the use of a ballot printer, which must include the following:

(a) procedures establishing how the ballot printer is to be used by the chief electoral officer, district electoral officers and election officials;

(b) procedures in relation to the security of the ballot printer, both while being used in a voting proceeding and at other times.

Use of vote-counting equipment

79.04   (1) This section applies if the chief electoral officer specifies the use of vote­counting equipment under section 79.01.

(2) The following restrictions apply with respect to the use of vote-counting equipment:

(a) the vote-counting equipment must not be a part of or connected to an electronic network during the voting proceedings;

(b) at the discretion of the chief electoral officer, the vote-counting equipment may be securely connected to an electronic network for the purpose of transmitting information to the chief electoral officer or, if authorized by the chief electoral officer, to a district electoral officer;

(c) the vote-counting equipment must be tested in accordance with industry standards;

(d) before the first use of the vote-counting equipment for the election, the supervising election official must demonstrate that no votes have been recorded on the equipment;

(e) the vote-counting equipment must not be used to generate, print or report election results until after the close of final voting on final voting day.

(3) For the purpose of subsection (2) (c), testing includes, without limitation, logic and accuracy testing.

(4) The chief electoral officer must establish procedures for the use of vote-counting equipment, which must include the following:

(a) procedures establishing how the vote-counting equipment is to be used by the chief electoral officer, district electoral officers and election officials;

(b) procedures in relation to the testing of the vote-counting equipment as described in subsection (2) (c);

(c) procedures in relation to the security of the vote-counting equipment, while it is being used in a voting proceeding and at other times;

(d) procedures establishing what steps to take if the vote-counting equipment provides a notification described in subsection (5);

(e) procedures in relation to anything else the chief electoral officer considers necessary for conducting voting proceedings and maintaining the integrity of voting proceedings in which vote-counting equipment is used.

(5) Vote-counting equipment must be programmed in such a manner that the equipment provides a notification if the equipment detects the following:

(a) there is no mark on the ballot or the mark made cannot be read by the vote-counting equipment;

(b) there is more than one mark on the ballot;

(c) the mark on the ballot is ambiguous.

Depositing ballot in ballot box

79.05   If vote-counting equipment is used, depositing a ballot in a ballot box includes the following:

(a) an election official or a voter inserting the ballot in the vote-counting equipment;

(b) an election official or a voter inserting the ballot in an auxiliary compartment;

(c) a prescribed action by an election official in relation to the vote-counting equipment.

Division 2 — Arrangements for Voting

Voting areas

80   (1) The chief electoral officer must establish voting areas for each electoral district.

(2) In establishing voting areas, the chief electoral officer must

(a) consider the boundaries of municipalities, regional districts and federal electoral districts,

(b) consider any geographic or other factors that might affect the convenience of voters, and

(c) include in each voting area the number of voters, from the Provincial list of voters, that the chief electoral officer considers will facilitate conducting voting proceedings for the voters.

(3) Without limiting the authority under subsection (1), a voting area may be established consisting of one or more areas that are not immediately adjacent to each other.

(4) The chief electoral officer may establish a site-based voting area for the purposes of section 77 (4) if satisfied that the voters for the voting area will have an adequate opportunity to vote under that section.

(5) If there is doubt as to the voting area to which a voter should be assigned, the voter registration official or election official authorized by the chief electoral officer must decide the matter having regard to the convenience of the voter and must inform the district registrar of voters of this decision.

(6) Voting areas may be established by the use of maps or otherwise.

(7) Notice of the boundaries of the voting areas, or of where an individual may inspect materials to determine those boundaries, must be published in the Gazette.

(8) Maps of the voting areas and, if these have been prepared under the direction of the chief electoral officer, indexes to residential addresses within the voting areas must be available for public inspection at the office of the chief electoral officer during its regular office hours.

Voting places

81   (1) So far as reasonably possible, a voting place must be in a convenient location for a majority of the voters and must be easily accessible to individuals who have a physical disability or whose mobility is impaired.

(2) A voting place must be in the electoral district unless the district electoral officer considers that another location will be more convenient for a majority of the voters.

(3) If requested by a district electoral officer,

(a) accommodation in a school that is the property of a board of school trustees under the School Act must be made available by the board for use as a voting place, and

(b) accommodation in a facility that is owned by a francophone education authority as defined in the School Act or leased by a francophone education authority from a board of school trustees must be made available by the francophone education authority for use as a voting place.

Voting stations

82   (1) A voting station is a location where an individual obtains a ballot to use for voting at a voting opportunity.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), there must be a ballot box at each voting station and an election official responsible for each voting station.

(3) If voting administration tools are used, the ballot box and vote-counting equipment used with the ballot box may be placed in a location at the voting place other than at the voting station.

(4) For a voting opportunity,

(a) the district electoral officer must establish sufficient voting stations to accommodate the number of voters that are anticipated to attend to vote at the opportunity, and

(b) an election official may direct a voter to a voting station.

Voting screens

83   (1) For each voting place there must be one or more voting screens.

(2) The election official responsible must ensure that the voting screens are arranged in such a manner that voters may mark their ballots screened from observation by others and without interference.

(3) A notice to provide directions for voting, in the form specified by the chief electoral officer, must be at each voting screen in use.

Voting books

84   (1) The chief electoral officer must

(a) arrange for the preparation of voting books, in the format and with the content specified by the chief electoral officer, and

(b) ensure that each district electoral officer has, or has access to, the following:

(i) the required voting books;

(ii) any voting administration tools required in relation to voting books, and equipment to support the use of the voting administration tools, if the use of the voting administration tools is specified by the chief electoral officer under section 79.01.

(2) The chief electoral officer may specify the use of separate voting books for different types of voting opportunities and for alternative voting options.

Ballot boxes

85   (1) A ballot box

(a) must be constructed so that

(i) ballots can be inserted into it, and

(ii) inserted ballots cannot be withdrawn unless the box is opened, and

(b) may be constructed

(i) with an auxiliary compartment, and

(ii) so that vote-counting equipment can be attached.

(2) The chief electoral officer must establish procedures to ensure that ballots are kept in a way to facilitate the preparation of ballot accounts.

Ballots

86   (1) A ballot must not include any of the following:

(a) an indication that a candidate is holding or has held an elected office;

(b) a candidate's occupation;

(c) an indication of a title, honour, degree or other decoration received or held by a candidate.

(2) Ordinary ballots must be prepared in the form prescribed by regulation and must include the following:

(a) the full name of each candidate in the election or, if a candidate specified a different usual name in the nomination documents, this usual name;

(b) in the case of a candidate nominated as a representative of a registered political party, the identification of the political party filed with the chief electoral officer under section 155 (3) (c);

(c) if requested by an independent candidate in the candidate's nomination documents, an indication that the candidate is independent.

(3) The names of the candidates must be arranged on an ordinary ballot alphabetically by their surnames and, if 2 or more candidates have the same surname, must be arranged alphabetically in order of their first given or usual names to be used on the ballot.

(4) If 2 or more candidates

(a) have the same surnames and given names, or

(b) have names so similar that, in the opinion of the chief electoral officer, they are likely to cause confusion,

the chief electoral officer may modify the names or include additional information to assist voters to identify the candidates, subject to the restrictions under subsection (1), and may establish their order on the ballot.

(5) Write-in ballots must be prepared in the form prescribed by regulation to permit the voter to vote by writing in the name or political party of the candidate for whom the individual wishes to vote.

(6) If an election by voting is still required after a candidate withdraws under section 64 or an order is made under section 66 (8) (b) and the ordinary ballot papers for the electoral district have been prepared, the district electoral officer must notify each supervising election official as soon as possible and, as time allows,

(a) have ballot papers prepared without the name of the individual,

(b) indicate on the ballots that the individual has ceased to be a candidate, or

(c) have posted at each voting station a notice that the individual has ceased to be a candidate.

(7) If the ordinary ballot papers for the electoral district have been prepared before an order is made under section 66 (8) (c) or (d), the district electoral officer must notify each supervising election official as soon as possible and, as time allows,

(a) have ballot papers prepared in accordance with the order of the court,

(b) indicate on the ballot, as applicable, the status or usual name of the candidate in accordance with the order of the court, or

(c) have posted at each voting station a notice of the order of the court.

(8) No ballot is invalid by reason that it includes the name of an individual who is not a candidate or a name or status that is not as ordered by a court under section 66.

(9) Subject to this section, the decision of the chief electoral officer respecting the form and content of a ballot is final and may not be the subject of an application under Part 8.

Ballot papers, certification envelopes and other materials

87   (1) The chief electoral officer is responsible for the following:

(a) arranging the preparation of ballot papers, certification envelopes and other election materials required for the conduct of voting;

(b) arranging the delivery of the materials described in paragraph (a) to the district electoral officer;

(c) if the chief electoral officer has specified the use of a voting administration tool under section 79.01, arranging the preparation, or procurement, of the voting administration tool and equipment to support the use of the voting administration tool;

(d) arranging the delivery of a voting administration tool and equipment described in paragraph (c) to the district electoral officer.

(2) Certification envelopes must be prepared in the form specified by the chief electoral officer.

(3) For the purpose of voting under section 104.01, mail-in voting packages must be prepared containing the following:

(a) a ballot;

(b) a secrecy envelope;

(c) a certification envelope;

(d) an outer envelope on which is printed the address of the office of the election official to whom the envelope is to be returned;

(e) instructions on how to vote by mail-in voting;

(f) anything else the chief electoral officer considers advisable.

Assignment of election official responsibilities

88   (1) For each voting opportunity, the district electoral officer must assign

(a) the required number of election officials, and

(b) the required responsibilities to the election officials

to conduct the election proceedings, taking into account any matters specified by the chief electoral officer under section 79.01.

(2) For each voting opportunity, the district electoral officer

(a) must designate an election official to be responsible for supervising the election officials assigned under subsection (1), and

(b) may assign an election official to act as the supervising election official if the designated supervising election official under paragraph (a) is absent or incapable of acting.

(3) As required, the district electoral officer may assign election officials necessary for special voting opportunities and alternative voting options.

Division 3 — Voting Proceedings

Each individual may vote only once in an election

89   An individual must not vote more than once in the same general election or by-election.

Voting to be by secret ballot

90   (1) Voting at an election must be by secret ballot.

(2) Each individual present at a place at which a voter exercises the right to vote, including individuals present to vote, and each individual present at the counting of the vote must preserve the secrecy of the ballot and, in particular, must not do any of the following:

(a) interfere with an individual who is marking a ballot;

(b) attempt to discover how an individual voted;

(c) communicate information regarding another individual's candidate choice;

(d) induce an individual, directly or indirectly, to show the ballot in a way that reveals how the individual voted.

(3) A voter may not be required in any legal proceedings to reveal how he or she voted in an election.

How to mark a ballot

91   (1) In the case of an ordinary ballot, an individual votes by marking the ballot to clearly indicate the candidate for whom the individual wishes to vote in accordance with the following, as applicable:

(a) directions provided at the voting screen;

(b) directions provided in a mail-in voting package;

(c) directions provided by the chief electoral officer.

(2) In the case of a write-in ballot, an individual votes by writing in the blank space provided on the ballot either

(a) the name of the candidate for whom the voter wishes to vote, or

(b) the name of the registered political party of the candidate for whom the individual wishes to vote.

(3) When providing a ballot, an election official may explain the proper method for voting by ballot and must explain this if requested by a voter or an individual assisting a voter under section 109.

Individuals who must be present at voting proceedings

92   The supervising election official designated or assigned under section 88 must ensure that there are sufficient election officials present at a place where voting proceedings are conducted to monitor, at all times during the voting proceedings, the ballot boxes and, if used, voting administration tools.

Individuals who may be present at voting proceedings

93   (1) Except as provided in this section, an individual must not be present at a voting place while voting proceedings are being conducted.

(2) The following individuals may be present at a voting place while voting proceedings are being conducted:

(a) election officials authorized to be present at the voting place;

(b) individuals who are present at the voting place for the purpose of voting, individuals in the care of an individual attending to vote or individuals assisting in voting under section 109;

(c) individuals acting as translators under section 269 at the voting place;

(d) for each candidate,

(i) the official agent of the candidate,

(ii) one scrutineer at each voting station at the voting place,

(iii) one additional scrutineer at the voting place, and

(iv) candidate representatives temporarily present at the voting place for the purpose of conveying information to and from scrutineers, to a maximum number equal to the number of voting stations;

(e) other individuals permitted to be present at the voting place by the district electoral officer or an election official authorized by the district electoral officer.

(3) Other than for the purpose of voting, a candidate must not be present while voting proceedings are being conducted.

(4) Other than an individual attending to vote, an individual in the care of an individual attending to vote or a peace officer assisting the election official under section 273, each individual present at a voting place while voting proceedings are being conducted and each candidate representative present at a special voting opportunity must make a solemn declaration to preserve the secrecy of the ballot in accordance with section 90.

Only one individual at a time may use a voting screen

94   (1) While a voter is using a voting screen to mark a ballot, no other individual may observe or be in a position to observe the ballot being marked.

(2) As exceptions to subsection (1),

(a) an individual assisting a voter to mark a ballot under section 109 may be present with the voter, and

(b) if the election official responsible permits, an individual who is under the care of a voter may be present with the voter.

Sealing of ballot boxes

95   (1) Before a ballot box is used for ballots, the election official responsible, in the presence of at least one witness, must inspect the ballot box to ensure that it is empty and seal it in such a manner that it cannot be opened without breaking the seal.

(2) At the end of voting for a voting opportunity, or if a ballot box becomes full while voting proceedings are being conducted, the election official responsible must seal the ballot box in a manner to prevent the addition or withdrawal of ballots.

(3) In addition to sealing by the election official responsible, candidate representatives are entitled to sign or otherwise mark the seal for the purposes of this section.

(4) A ballot box that has been sealed under subsection (2) must remain sealed and unopened until the ballots are to be counted, unless it is a ballot box for voting at an alternative voting option.

(4.1) During voting proceedings, an election official may, in the presence of at least one witness, remove the ballots from the auxiliary compartment of a ballot box used with vote-counting equipment, for the purpose of inserting the ballots into the vote-counting equipment in accordance with procedures established by the chief electoral officer under section 79.04 (4).

(5) If a ballot box sealed under subsection (2) is to be used again in the election, the election official responsible must break the seal in the presence of at least one witness.

(6) A ballot box used for voting at an alternative voting option may be locked rather than sealed, so long as the purposes of this section are reasonably met.

(7) If, at any time that a ballot box is required to be sealed or locked under this section, it appears that there may have been tampering with the seal or lock, this must be reported to the district electoral officer and must be recorded on the ballot account for the ballot box, together with any reasons for this known to the election official responsible.

Before first use of vote-counting equipment

95.01   Before vote-counting equipment is first used in a place where voting proceedings are conducted, the election official responsible, in the presence of at least one witness, must do the following:

(a) inspect the ballot box that is to be used with the vote-counting equipment to ensure that it is empty and seal it in such a manner that it cannot be opened without breaking the seal;

(b) inspect the auxiliary compartment to ensure that it is empty;

(c) inspect the vote-counting equipment to ensure that it has not been interfered with.

Division 4 — Voting at a Voting Opportunity

Final voting

96   (1) For final voting in accordance with this section, an individual must attend to vote at a final voting opportunity established

(a) for the voting area in which the individual is resident, and the election procedures in subsections (2) to (5) apply,

(b) for another voting area in the same electoral district as the voting area in which the individual is resident, and the election procedures prescribed by regulation under subsection (6) apply, or

(c) for another electoral district for which an election is being conducted at the same time as the election in which the individual is voting, and the election procedures prescribed by regulation under subsection (6) apply.

(2) In order to obtain a ballot for final voting, the following requirements must be met:

(a) the individual voting must

(i) provide the documents described in section 41 (3), or

(ii) if the individual does not have sufficient documentation, have the individual's identity and place of residence confirmed in accordance with section 41.1, and for this purpose, section 41.1 (4) and (5) applies;

(b) if the individual is registering as a voter for the electoral district in conjunction with voting, the election official responsible must record information about the individual as specified by the chief electoral officer;

(c) if the individual voting is a registered voter, the election official responsible must update information about the voter, if applicable, as specified by the chief electoral officer;

(d) the individual voting must, as directed by the election official responsible,

(i) make a written declaration that the individual is entitled to vote in the election, or

(ii) make an oral declaration that the individual is entitled to vote in the election, in which case the election official responsible must make a record that the individual made an oral declaration;

(e) if the individual requires assistance to vote, the requirements of section 109 must also be met;

(f) if the individual is challenged under section 111, the individual must also meet the requirements of that section;

(g) if it appears that another individual has already voted using the individual's name, the individual must also meet the requirements of section 112.

(3) Once the requirements referred to in subsection (2) have been met, the election official responsible must

(a) announce the name of the individual,

(b) initial a ballot,

(c) hand the individual the initialled ballot, and

(d) provide the individual with directions about the following:

(i) how to keep marks on the ballot concealed once the individual has marked the ballot by either

(A) placing the ballot in a secrecy sleeve, or

(B) refolding the ballot to conceal the names of the candidates and any mark made on the ballot by the individual;

(ii) what to do with the ballot once the individual has marked the ballot.

(4) To vote after receiving a ballot, an individual must

(a) go directly to a voting screen provided,

(b) while the ballot is screened from observation, mark it in accordance with section 91,

(c) conceal the names of the candidates and any mark made on the ballot by the individual as directed, under subsection (3) (d), by the election official,

(d) return the ballot to the election official responsible, who must confirm that the ballot is the one that was given to the individual by examining the initials on the ballot, and

(e) at the individual's choice,

(i) if no vote-counting equipment is used, either

(A) accept the ballot back and deposit it in the appropriate sealed ballot box while observed by the election official responsible, or

(B) observe the election official responsible deposit the ballot in the appropriate sealed ballot box, or

(ii) if vote-counting equipment is used, either

(A) accept the ballot back and insert it into the appropriate vote-counting equipment or auxiliary compartment, as directed by the election official responsible, or

(B) observe an election official responsible insert the ballot into the appropriate vote-counting equipment or auxiliary compartment.

(5) If vote-counting equipment is used and the vote-counting equipment provides a notification described in section 79.04 (5), the election official responsible must follow the procedures established under section 79.04 (4) (d).

(6) The chief electoral officer must make regulations prescribing election procedures about the following, which may include modifying, for the purposes of this subsection, the election procedures set out in subsections (2) to (4):

(a) voting at a final voting opportunity established for another voting area in the same electoral district as the voting area in which the individual is resident;

(b) voting at a final voting opportunity established for another electoral district for which an election is being conducted at the same time as the election in which the individual is voting.

Advance voting

97   (1) For advance voting in accordance with this section, an individual must attend to vote at an advance voting opportunity established

(a) for the electoral district for which the individual is a voter, and, subject to subsection (2), the election procedures in section 96 (2) to (5) apply, or

(b) for another electoral district for which an election is being conducted at the same time as the election in which the individual is voting, and, subject to subsection (2), the election procedures prescribed by regulation under section 96 (6) apply.

(2) The chief electoral officer may make regulations for advance voting opportunities, which may include modifying, for the purposes of this section, the election procedures set out in section 96 (2) to (5) or prescribed by regulation under section 96 (6).

Voting at a special voting opportunity

98   (1) For voting at a special voting opportunity in accordance with this section, an individual must

(a) attend to vote at the time and place where the voting opportunity is being conducted, and

(b) be entitled to vote at the special voting opportunity, if any restrictions referred to in section 77 (2) on who may vote at the voting opportunity apply.

(2) Unless the time for voting is extended under section 114 or the voting opportunity is adjourned under section 272, an individual may not vote under this section after the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting for the election in which the individual is voting.

(3) In order to obtain a ballot at a special voting opportunity, the following requirements must be met:

(a) the individual voting must, as directed by the election official responsible,

(i) make a written declaration that the individual is entitled to vote in the election and, if restrictions referred to in subsection (1) (b) apply, that the individual is entitled to vote at the special voting opportunity, or

(ii) make an oral declaration that the individual is entitled to vote in the election and, if restrictions referred to in subsection (1) (b) apply, that the individual is entitled to vote at the special voting opportunity, in which case the election official responsible must make a record that the individual made an oral declaration;

(b) the requirements referred to in section 96 (2) (a) and, if applicable, the additional requirements referred to in section 96 (2) (d) to (f) must be met.

(4) Once the requirements of subsection (3) have been met, unless other procedures have been established under section 77, the election official responsible must

(a) announce the name of the individual,

(b) initial a ballot,

(c) hand to the individual the initialled ballot,

(d) if the ballot is a write-in ballot, provide the individual with a copy of the list of candidates, indicating the names of the candidates for the electoral district for which the individual is a voter and, as applicable, the status of the candidates as representatives of specific registered political parties or as independent candidates, and

(e) provide the individual with directions for the following:

(i) how to keep marks on the ballot concealed once the individual has marked the ballot;

(ii) what to do with the ballot once the individual has marked the ballot.

(5) In order to vote after receiving a ballot, an individual must proceed in accordance with section 96 (4) and (5) unless other procedures have been established under section 77.

(6) As an exception to subsection (5), if the individual is voting in an election for another electoral district than the one for which the voting opportunity is being held, the ballot must be dealt with in accordance with regulations prescribed under subsection (7) of this section.

(7) The chief electoral officer must make regulations respecting the conduct of voting at a special voting opportunity established for another electoral district for which an election is being conducted at the same time as the election in which the individual is voting, which may include modifying, for the purposes of this subsection, the election procedures set out in subsection (3) or (4).

Repealed

99   [Repealed 2019-42-41.]

Repealed

100   [Repealed 2019-42-41.]

Repealed

101   [Repealed 2019-42-41.]

Division 5 — Alternative Voting Options

Alternative voting options — general

102   (1) Voting under sections 104 and 104.01 must be available as set out in section 78.

(2) If an alternative voting option is within a class established by the chief electoral officer by regulation, any restrictions established by the regulations on who may vote apply.

Repealed

103   [Repealed 2019-42-43.]

Voting at office of district electoral officer

104   (1) An individual may attend to vote under this section at the office of a district electoral officer during its regular office hours.

(2) Voting under this section may be done at any time up until 4 hours before the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting for the election in which the individual is voting.

(3) In order to vote under this section, the following requirements must be met:

(a) the individual voting must, as directed by the election official responsible,

(i) make a written declaration that the individual is entitled to vote in the election, or

(ii) make an oral declaration that the individual is entitled to vote in the election, in which case the election official responsible must make a record that the individual made an oral declaration;

(b) the requirements referred to in section 96 (2) (a) and, if applicable, the additional requirements of section 96 (2) (e) to (g) must be met.

(4) Once the requirements of subsection (3) are met, section 96 (3), (4) and (5) applies to the voting.

(5) The chief electoral officer may make regulations in relation to voting at the office of a district electoral officer before ordinary ballots for voting have been prepared, which may include regulations modifying, for the purposes of this section, the election procedures set out in section 96 (3), (4) and (5).

Voting with mail-in voting package

104.01   An individual may

(a) apply, in accordance with section 105 or 105.01, as applicable, for a mail-in voting package

(i) to the chief electoral officer, or

(ii) to the district electoral officer if the chief electoral officer has so specified or if it would be more convenient for the individual, and

(b) vote using a mail-in voting package in accordance with section 106.

How to obtain mail-in voting package

105   (1) An application for a mail-in voting package may be made at any time up until 4 hours before the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting for the election in which the individual is voting.

(2) Subject to section 105.01, an individual must not apply for more than one mail-in voting package for an election.

(3) An application under subsection (1) must include the following:

(a) the name and residential address of the individual;

(b) an address at which the individual can be reached and to which the mail-in voting package is to be sent, if this is different from the residential address of the individual;

(c) if the application is made in the 10 days before final voting day, a telephone number at which the individual can be contacted, if available.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), the chief electoral officer or district electoral officer must mail or otherwise provide a mail-in voting package prepared under section 87 (3) to an individual who has applied if the officer is satisfied that the individual is a voter for the electoral district for which the individual is applying to vote or is entitled to register as such.

(5) The chief electoral officer or district electoral officer is not required to mail a mail-in voting package to an individual who has applied if the officer considers that there is insufficient time for the mail-in voting package to be received by the following before the close of final voting:

(a) the individual;

(b) the office at the address described in section 106 (1) (g) (i);

(c) the district electoral officer under section 106 (1) (g) (ii).

(6) If an application under this section is made in the last 10 days before final voting day for the election in which the individual is voting, the individual who has applied is responsible for arranging delivery of the mail-in voting package to the chief electoral officer or district electoral officer.

(7) Before sending out a mail-in voting package, the chief electoral officer or district electoral officer must make a record that a mail-in voting package will be mailed to the individual who has applied.

(8) The chief electoral officer or district electoral officer may include and, if requested by the individual to whom the mail-in voting package is being provided, must include with a mail-in voting package

(a) an application for registration as a voter or for updating voter registration information, and

(b) instructions on how to complete the application.

How to arrange for replacement of mail-in voting package

105.01   (1) An individual who

(a) receives a mail-in voting package with an incorrect name or a misspelled name of the individual or an incorrect residential address,

(b) loses, mutilates or destroys the mail-in voting package,

(c) spoils a ballot or certification envelope before it is delivered in accordance with section 106 (1) (g), or

(d) has applied requesting a voting package in accordance with section 105 but did not receive a mail-in voting package

may apply to the chief electoral officer or district electoral officer to request a replacement mail-in voting package.

(2) An application under subsection (1) may be made at any time up until 4 hours before the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting for the election in which the individual is voting.

(3) The chief electoral officer or district electoral officer is not required to provide a mail-in voting package to an individual referred to in subsection (1) if the officer considers that there is insufficient time for the mail-in voting package to be received by the following before the close of final voting:

(a) the individual;

(b) the office at the address described in section 106 (1) (g) (i);

(c) the district electoral officer under section 106 (1) (g) (ii).

(4) If the chief electoral officer or district electoral officer provides a replacement mail-in voting package under this section, the officer must

(a) designate the replaced mail-in voting package as cancelled on the record maintained for that purpose, and

(b) instruct the individual on what is to be done with the cancelled mail-in voting package, if applicable.

How to vote using mail-in voting package

106   (1) In order to vote using a mail-in voting package, an individual must do the following:

(a) mark the ballot in accordance with the directions provided in the mail-in voting package;

(b) place the marked ballot in the secrecy envelope provided and seal this secrecy envelope;

(c) follow the directions provided in the mail-in voting package in respect of the following:

(i) the individual's completion of the certification envelope;

(ii) in the presence of a witness, the individual's signing of a declaration that the individual

(A) is registered as a voter for the electoral district for which the individual is voting or is applying to register as such in conjunction with voting, and

(B) has not previously voted in the election and will not afterwards vote again in the same election;

(iii) the individual ensuring that the declaration is signed by the witness to the signing of the declaration under subparagraph (ii);

(d) place the certification envelope in the outer envelope provided;

(e) if the individual is registering as a voter in conjunction with voting or is updating voter registration information, enclose in the outer envelope

(i) the application form and documents required by section 41 (2) and (3) or the copies permitted by subsection (2) of this section, or

(ii) the application form and solemn declarations required by section 41.1 (2) and (3);

(f) seal the outer envelope;

(g) arrange for the sealed outer envelope containing the applicable materials referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e) of this section to be delivered

(i) to the address of the office of the election official printed on it, so that it is received before the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting for the election, or

(ii) if the individual is concerned that the envelope will not be received at the address of the office of the election official printed on it before the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting for the election, to the office of a district electoral officer.

(2) For the purposes of satisfying the requirements referred to in subsection (1) (e), an individual may enclose copies rather than originals of documents with the application for registration or for updating voter registration information.

Receipt of mail-in voting packages

107   (1) An envelope that is received as required by section 106 (1) (g) (i) before the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting must be dealt with by the election official responsible as follows:

(a) immediately on receipt, the election official must open the outer envelope and record the date of receipt on the certification envelope and in the voting book;

(b) if, on the basis of an included application for registration, the election official is satisfied that the individual is entitled to be registered as a voter, the election official must accept the application and register the individual;

(c) if the election official is satisfied that the individual identified on the certification envelope is the individual to whom the envelope was provided under section 105 or 105.01, the election official must deal with the certification envelope in accordance with procedures specified by the chief electoral officer;

(d) if the election official is not satisfied as referred to in paragraph (b) or (c), the election official must note this on the certification envelope and must place the envelope in a ballot box in accordance with the procedures specified by the chief electoral officer.

(2) An envelope that is received as required by section 106 (1) (g) (ii) before the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting must be dealt with by the election official responsible as follows:

(a) immediately on receipt, the election official must open the outer envelope and record the date of receipt on the certification envelope and in the voting book;

(b) if, on the basis of an included application for registration, the election official is satisfied that the individual is entitled to be registered as a voter, the election official must accept the application and register the individual;

(c) if the election official is satisfied that the individual identified on the certification envelope as using the envelope to vote is the individual to whom the envelope was issued, the election official must initial the certification envelope and place it in a ballot box;

(d) if the election official is not satisfied as referred to in paragraph (b) or (c), the election official must note this on the certification envelope and must place the envelope in a ballot box.

(3) An envelope that is received under section 106 (1) (g) after the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting must be dealt with by the election official responsible as follows:

(a) on receipt, the election official must open the outer envelope and record the date and time of receipt on the certification envelope and in the voting book;

(b) the election official must forward any enclosed application for registration as a voter or for updating voter registration information to the applicable district registrar of voters to be dealt with as if it were received as part of the general registration;

(c) the certification envelope must remain unopened and must not be considered in the initial count, the final count or any judicial recount for the election.

Special provision of mail-in voting packages for armed forces and others

108   (1) For the purposes of enabling voting by a group of members of the Canadian armed forces or of another specific class of individuals who, in the opinion of the chief electoral officer, are entitled to vote but are likely to be from a number of different electoral districts, the chief electoral officer may appoint a member of the group as an election official for the purposes of this section.

(2) The chief electoral officer may provide to the election official mail-in voting packages, a voting book, applications for registration as a voter and for updating voter registration information.

(3) The election official has the same duties and powers as an election official responsible regarding the provision of mail-in voting packages, the recording of information regarding this and the acceptance of applications for voter registration and updating of voter registration information.

(4) As an exception to section 106 (1) (e), the election official has the authority to accept applications for voter registration and updating of voter registration information and the documents required under section 41 (3), or the solemn declaration required under section 41.1 (3), do not need to be enclosed with the certification envelopes.

(5) For a ballot issued under this section to be counted as a vote, the materials referred to in section 106 (1) (g) must be received by the chief electoral officer before the time set by section 75 (3) for the close of final voting for the election in which the individual is voting.

(6) On receiving the materials referred to in subsection (5), the chief electoral officer must deal with the package in accordance with section 107.

(7) The election official must return the voting book and any unused mail-in voting packages to the chief electoral officer in accordance with procedures specified by the chief electoral officer.

Assisted telephone voting

108.01   (1) The chief electoral officer may establish assisted telephone voting to enable voting by individuals with a vision impairment that would make it difficult for the individuals to vote at a voting opportunity, in a district electoral office or by mail-in voting.

(2) The chief electoral officer may offer an assisted telephone voting option to individuals other than those described in subsection (1).

(3) If the chief electoral officer offers an assisted telephone voting option under subsection (2) of this section, the report of the chief electoral officer under section 13 (1) (b) must include a report on the offer and the circumstances under which the offer was made.

(4) Despite sections 41 and 41.1, an individual may only vote using the option for assisted telephone voting if the voter is a registered voter.

(5) The chief electoral officer must, if the chief electoral officer establishes assisted telephone voting, make regulations respecting assisted telephone voting, including, without limitation, establishing the following:

(a) the period of time during which assisted telephone voting is available;

(b) procedures to ensure the secrecy of the ballot;

(c) procedures to ensure that election officials mark the ballot in accordance with the wishes of the voter.

Voting in exceptional circumstances

108.02   (1) If, in the opinion of the chief electoral officer, exceptional circumstances arise in an election that would make it unsafe for individuals in a specified community or specified location to vote, the chief electoral officer may authorize the district electoral officer to provide an exceptional opportunity for the individuals in the specified community or specified location to vote.

(2) In order to obtain a ballot for voting under this section, the requirements set out in section 96 (2) must be met.

(3) Subject to subsection (4) of this section, the election procedures set out in section 96 (3), (4) and (5) and prescribed by regulation under section 96 (6) apply to voting under this section.

(4) The district electoral officer may modify the procedures referred to in subsection (3) of this section.

(5) A procedure modified under subsection (4) of this section must preserve the secrecy of the ballot.

Division 6 — Special Circumstances

Individuals needing assistance — voting in person

109   (1) This section applies to voters

(a) who vote by attending at a voting opportunity, and

(b) who

(i) are unable to mark a ballot because of physical disability or difficulties with reading or writing, or

(ii) require the assistance of a translator to read the ballot and the instructions for voting.

(2) A voter referred to in subsection (1) may be assisted in voting by an election official or by an individual accompanying the voter.

(3) An individual other than an election official must not act under this section to assist more than one voter in an election to mark a ballot under this section.

(4) As an exception to subsection (3), an election official may permit an individual to assist more than one member of the individual's family.

(5) In order to receive a ballot to be marked under this section, the following requirements must be met:

(a) if the individual assisting is not an election official, the individual must make a solemn declaration that the individual

(i) will preserve the secrecy of the ballot in accordance with section 90,

(ii) if needed, will mark the ballot in accordance with the wishes of the voter,

(iii) will refrain from attempting in any manner to influence the voter as to how the voter should vote, and

(iv) has not, except as permitted under subsection (4), assisted another individual under this section in the election;

(b) if assistance is needed because the voter needs a translator to be able to read the ballot and the instructions for voting, the individual assisting must make a solemn declaration in accordance with section 269 (4).

(6) The individual assisting must accompany the voter to the voting screen or other place to be used for voting and mark the ballot in accordance with the directions of the voter.

(7) Candidates and candidate representatives must not assist in marking a ballot.

(8) An individual does not vote by assisting under this section.

Individuals needing assistance — mail-in voting

109.01   (1) This section applies to voters

(a) who vote by using a mail-in voting package, and

(b) who

(i) are unable to mark a ballot or request a mail-in voting package because of physical disability or difficulties with reading or writing, or

(ii) require the assistance of a translator to read the ballot and the instructions for voting.

(2) A voter referred to in subsection (1) may be assisted by an individual in voting or in requesting a mail-in voting package.

(3) An individual must not act under this section to assist more than one voter in an election.

(4) As an exception to subsection (3), an individual may assist more than one member of the individual's family to whom subsection (1) (b) (i) or (ii) applies.

(5) An individual who is assisting a voter under this section must

(a) preserve the secrecy of the ballot in accordance with section 90,

(b) if needed, mark the ballot in accordance with the directions of the voter, and

(c) refrain from attempting in any manner to influence the voter as to how the voter should vote.

(6) If a voter referred to in subsection (1) (b) (i) is unable to sign the declaration, which may be on the certification envelope or otherwise, the individual assisting the voter

(a) must sign the declaration that the voter

(i) is registered as a voter for the electoral district for which the voter is voting or is applying to register as such in conjunction with voting, and

(ii) has not previously voted in the election and will not afterwards vote again in the same election, and

(b) must provide information in accordance with the directions in the mail-in voting package.

(7) Under this section, the signature of the individual assisting the voter is considered to be the signature of the voter who is assisted in voting under this section.

(8) An individual must not provide assistance as a translator under this section unless the individual is able to make the translation and makes it to the best of the individual's abilities.

(9) An individual is not considered to have voted or to have applied for a mail-in voting package by assisting a voter under this section.

Individuals unable to enter a voting place

110   (1) This section applies to voters who come to a voting place to vote but who are unable to enter the voting place because of physical disability or impaired mobility.

(2) A voter referred to in subsection (1) may request to vote at the nearest location to the voting place to which the voter has access.

(3) If a request is made, the election official responsible must attend the voter at the nearest location to the voting place for the purpose of allowing the voter to meet the applicable requirements to obtain a ballot.

(4) The election official responsible must ensure that the voter's marked ballot is deposited in the appropriate ballot box, taking whatever steps the official considers necessary to maintain the secrecy of the ballot.

(5) The election official responsible may temporarily suspend voting proceedings in order to allow a voter to vote under this section.

(6) Separate ballot boxes may be used for the purposes of this section.

Challenge of a voter

111   (1) An individual's right to vote at a voting opportunity or at an alternative voting option may be challenged in accordance with this section at any time during the procedures to obtain a ballot up until the time the individual receives the ballot.

(2) A challenge may be made

(a) only by an election official, a candidate representative or a voter for the electoral district, and

(b) only on the basis that the individual proposing to vote is not entitled to vote.

(3) In order to receive a ballot, an individual whose right to vote has been challenged must either

(a) provide evidence satisfactory to the election official responsible that the individual is entitled to vote, or

(b) make a solemn declaration before the election official responsible as to the individual's entitlement to vote.

(4) The solemn declaration required by subsection (3) (b) must state that the individual

(a) meets all the qualifications to be registered as a voter and is either registered as a voter of that electoral district or is applying to register in conjunction with voting,

(b) is entitled to vote in the election,

(c) is in fact the individual under whose name the individual is registered or registering as a voter,

(d) has not contravened section 255, and

(e) has not voted before in the same election and will not vote again in the same election.

(5) In relation to a challenge under this section, the election official responsible must record in the voting book

(a) that the individual was challenged,

(b) the name of the individual who made the challenge, and

(c) whether and how the individual challenged satisfied the requirement of subsection (3).

If another individual has already voted under a voter's name

112   (1) This section applies if a voter otherwise meets the requirements to obtain a ballot but the voting book or other election record indicates that an individual has already voted using the name of the voter.

(2) In order to obtain a ballot, the individual asserting the right to vote as the named voter must either

(a) provide evidence satisfactory to the election official responsible that the individual is the named voter, or

(b) make a solemn declaration as to the individual's entitlement to vote as the named voter.

(3) The election official responsible must record in the voting book

(a) that a second ballot was issued in the name of the voter, and

(b) whether and how the individual asserting the right to vote satisfied the requirement of subsection (2).

Replacement of spoiled ballot

113   (1) In the following cases, a voter may obtain a replacement ballot by giving the spoiled ballot to the election official responsible:

(a) the voter spoils the ballot and requests the replacement ballot before the spoiled ballot is deposited in the ballot box;

(b) the vote-counting equipment provides a notification described in section 79.04 (5) in relation to the voter's ballot.

(2) The election official responsible must immediately mark as spoiled a ballot replaced under subsection (1) and retain the spoiled ballot for inclusion with the election materials under section 126.

Time for voting extended

114   (1) If the start of voting, as set under this Act, is delayed at a location and the district electoral officer considers that a significant number of voters would not be able to vote without an extension under this section, the district electoral officer may extend the time for the end of the voting but the extension must not permit voting for a longer length of time than would have been permitted had voting not been delayed.

(2) As soon as possible, the district electoral officer must inform the chief electoral officer of an extension under subsection (1).

(3) If, at the time set under this Act for the end of voting at a location, there are individuals waiting in or in line outside the place in order to vote, those individuals are entitled to vote and the ballot box must remain unsealed until their ballots are deposited.

(4) No individuals other than those referred to in subsection (3) are entitled to vote after the time set for the end of the voting.

(5) The decision of the election official responsible as to who is or who is not entitled to vote under subsection (3) is final and may not be the basis of an application under Part 8.

Contents | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 10.1 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Schedule