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

Full Document:  

Act current to 2021-05-04 and last amended on 2019-06-13. Previous Versions

PART 9Voting (continued)

Polling Day (continued)

Hours (continued)

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.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 135
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 44
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 88

Marginal note:Presence of representatives

  •  (1) A candidate or the candidate’s official agent may authorize any number of representatives of the candidate to be present at a polling station, but only two of each candidate’s representatives may be present at any time.

  • Marginal note:Representatives may absent themselves from poll

    (2) A representative of a candidate, or an elector described in paragraph 135(1)(d), may leave a polling station at any time and return at any time before the counting of the votes begins and is not required to produce a new written authorization from the candidate or official agent, or a copy of one, or to make another solemn declaration.

  • Marginal note:Moving between polling stations

    (2.1) Despite subsection (2), a candidate’s representative may, either before or after the counting of the votes begins, go from one polling station to another if those polling stations are in the same polling place. However, once the representative leaves the polling place, he or she is not permitted to return after the counting of the votes begins.

  • Marginal note:Examination of list of electors and conveying information

    (3) A representative of a candidate may, during voting hours,

    • (a) examine the list of electors, provided that the representative does not delay an elector in casting his or her vote; and

    • (b) convey any information obtained by the examination referred to in paragraph (a) to a representative of the candidate who is on duty outside the polling station.

  • Marginal note:Photographs, recordings and communications devices

    (4) A candidate’s representative

    • (a) shall not take any photograph or make any audio or video recording at a polling station; and

    • (b) shall not, if he or she uses a communications device at a polling station, impede any elector from exercising their right to vote or violate the secrecy of the vote.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 136
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 45
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 89

Marginal note:Candidate may act as representative

  •  (1) A candidate may perform the duties of a representative of the candidate, or may assist the representative in the performance of those duties, and may be present at any place that the representative is authorized to attend under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Non-attendance of representatives

    (2) The non-attendance of a representative of a candidate at any time or place authorized by this Act does not in any way invalidate any act or thing done during the absence of the representative if the act or thing is otherwise duly done.

Marginal note:Initialling ballots

  •  (1) Before a polling station opens on polling day, and in full view of the candidates or their representatives who are present at the polling station, an election officer who is assigned to the polling station shall initial the back of every ballot in the space indicated in Form 3 of Schedule 1, entirely in ink or entirely in black pencil so that when the ballot is folded the initials can be seen. The initials shall be as similar as possible on each ballot.

  • Marginal note:Ballots not to be detached

    (2) For the purpose of initialling, the ballots shall not be detached from the books in which they are contained.

  • Marginal note:Vote not to be delayed

    (3) The opening of a polling station shall not be delayed for the purpose of initialling the ballots. Ballots that are not initialled when the polling station opens shall be initialled as soon as possible and in all cases before being handed to electors.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 138
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 90
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