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Statutes of Newfoundland and Labrador 2001


Statutes of Newfoundland and Labrador 2001 Chapter M-20.2

CHAPTER M-20.2

AN ACT RESPECTING MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS

(Assented to May 24, 2001)

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Interpretation

4. Presence of agents

PART I
ELECTIONS

5. General elections

6. By-election

7. Special elections

8. Adjournment of election

9. Oath of office

10. Term of office

11. Filling vacancies

12. First election

13. Election officials

14. Nomination

15. Qualification

16. Nomination procedure

17. Declaration of qualification

18. Deposit

19. Notice of candidates

20. Acclamation

21. Grant of election

PART II
VOTERS

22. Voters

23. Voting

24. Residency

25. Oath or affirmation of voters

26. Advance poll

27. Voting by proxy

PART III
ELECTION MATERIALS AND PROCEDURES

28. Ballots

29. Election materials

30. Directions

31. Voterís lists

32. Use of list

33. Opening and close of poll

34. Employee time to vote

35. Polling booths

36. Who may be present

37. Maintaining order

38. Ballot box exhibited

39. Oaths or affirmations

40. Confirmation of name

41. Noting of objections and oath or affirmation

42. Refusal to take oath or affirmation

43. Delivery of ballots

PART IV
VOTING

44. Proxy voting

45. Explanation of voting procedure

46. Voting

47. Removal of ballots

48. Incapacitated voter

49. Mobile and special polls

50. Spoiled ballot

51. Counting of ballots

52. Rejected ballots

53. Objections

PART V
BALLOT BY MAIL

54. Regulations for mail voting

PART VI
RESULTS

55. Account of ballots

56. Statement of poll

57. Disposition of materials and delivery of ballot box

58. Declaration of result

59. Retention of ballot boxes

60. Tie vote

61. Report

PART VII
RECOUNT

62. Recount

63. Recount requirements

64. Judicial recount

65. Declaration of result

PART VIII
FINANCES

66. Election expenses

67. Campaign contributions and disclosure

PART IX
PETITIONS

68. Petitions

69. Order to compel return

70. Joining of respondents

71. Form of petition

72. Limitation period

73. Amendment of petition

74. No return petition

75. Counter petition

76. Presentation of petition

77. Security for costs

78. Service of petition

79. Preliminary objections

80. Trial

81. Certificate

82. Report where corrupt practices

83. Invalidation of election

84. Special case

85. Corrupt practice charge

86. Ministerial action

87. Consolidation of petitions

88. Petition withdrawal

89. Abatement

90. Substituted petitioners

91. Taxation of costs

92. Questions

93. Procedure

94. Effect of corrupt practice

95. Effect of mistakes

96. Corrupt practices

PART X
REGULATIONS AND FORMS

97. Regulations

98. Forms

PART XI
OFFENCE AND PENALTY

99. Offence

100. Penalty

PART XII
CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS, REPEAL AND COMMENCEMENT

101. RSN1990 cC-15 Amdt.

102. RSN1990 cC-16 Amdt.

103. RSN1990 cC-17 Amdt.

104. SN1999 cM-24 Amdt.

105. RSN1990 cS-5 Rep.

106. Commencement

Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Municipal Elections Act.

Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "by-election" means an election held under section 6 or a special by-election held under section 7;

(b) "candidate" means a person who is nominated as a candidate under section 16;

(c) "city" means a city incorporated under the City of Corner Brook Act, City of Mount Pearl Act or the City of St. Johnís Act;

(d) "clerk" means a clerk of a city, town or region;

(e) "council" includes a council of a city and a council as defined in the Municipalities Act, 1999;

(f) "councillor" includes a mayor, deputy mayor, chairperson, vice chairperson and counsellor of a council;

(g) "court", unless the context indicates otherwise, means the Trial Division;

(h) "department" means the department presided over by the minister;

(i) "deputy returning officer" means a deputy returning officer appointed under subsection 13(4);

(j) "election", unless the context indicates otherwise, means a general election, by-election or special election called under this Act;

(k) "election official" means a returning officer, a deputy returning officer, poll clerk or other official appointed or employed by the returning officer to assist in the conduct of an election under this Act;

(l) "impeditive voter" means a voter who

(i) is an election official, or

(ii) has reason to believe that he or she will be unable to vote on election day;

(m) "judge" means a judge of the court;

(n) "mayor" means the mayor of a city or town;

(o) "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;

(p) "municipality" includes a city, and a municipality as defined in the Municipalities Act, 1999;

(q) "poll clerk" means a person appointed to assist a returning officer or deputy returning officer in the conduct of a polling booth in an election;

(r) "region" means a region as defined in the Municipalities Act, 1999;

(s) "special election" means an election or by-election ordered by the minister under section 7;

(t) "town" means a town as defined in the Municipalities Act, 1999;

(u) "trade union" means a trade union as defined in the Labour Relations Act or the Canada Labour Code (Canada); and

(v) "voter" means a person qualified to vote in an election.

Interpretation

3. (1) Where, in the opinion of the minister, the area of a municipality is likely to be larger on polling day than it was when an enumeration was conducted, the term "the municipality" shall be considered to mean that larger area for the purpose of preparing the list of voters or determining the qualifications of candidates or voters.

(2) Nothing in this Act shall be interpreted to permit a person who on polling day is not ordinarily resident within the boundaries of the municipality to be a voter or to be a candidate.

Presence of agents

4. (1) Where, in this Act, expressions are used requiring or authorizing an act or thing to be done in the presence of the agents of the candidates,

(a) they are considered to refer to the presence of those agents of the candidates that are authorized to attend and that have in fact attended at the time and place where the act or thing is being done; and

(b) the non-attendance of an agent at the time and place does not invalidate the act or thing.

(2) Agents who represent candidates in an election shall be authorized by the returning officer before the date of the election.

PART I
ELECTIONS

General elections

5. (1) A general election of councils shall take place in 2001 and every 4 years after that.

(2) A general election under subsection (1) shall be held on the last Tuesday in September.

(3) The minister may, by order, defer a general election with respect to one or more municipalities for a period not exceeding one year in total.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a general election shall not take place in a municipality where a council has been elected for that municipality within one year of the date of the general election.

By-election

6. (1) Where a vacancy occurs in the office of a councillor, or the number of councillors is increased, more than 12 months before the expiration of the term of office of the council, the council shall order a by-election for a councillor to hold office for the unexpired term of the council.

(2) A by-election held under subsection (1) shall be held in the same manner as an election held under this Act, and shall take place within 3 months of the vacancy or increase in the council.

(3) A council may, with the approval of the minister, defer a by-election to be held under this section for a period not exceeding one year in total.

(4) Where no person is nominated for a by-election held under subsection (1) and the minister does not reduce the number of councillors, the council shall order a new by-election.

(5) Where, as a result of an increase in the number of councillors, a by-election is held to elect a councillor to represent an area added to a municipality, the qualifications of voters and candidates in that area are to be determined as if the by-election is the first election held after the establishment of the municipality.

Special elections

7. (1) The minister may order the holding of an election or by-election for a municipality on a day set out in the order and may appoint a returning officer to conduct that election.

(2) An election or by-election held under subsection (1) shall be held in the same manner as another election or by-election held under this Act.

(3) Where an election or by-election is ordered to be held under subsection (1), the council or councillors affected by that order continue to hold office until the councillors elected to succeed them are sworn into office.

(4) Where a by-election is held under subsection (1), the councillor elected holds office for the unexpired term of the councillor whom he or she replaces.

Adjournment of election

8. (1) Notwithstanding sections 5, 6 and 7, election proceedings may be adjourned by the returning officer for a municipality where he or she believes that the health or safety of persons is at risk or that the integrity of the election process is at risk.

(2) Election proceedings may be adjourned under subsection (1)

(a) temporarily to another time on the same day or another place on the same day as specified by the returning officer; or

(b) to a day, time or place to be set by the returning officer.

(3) Where an election is adjourned under paragraph (2)(b), the election shall occur on a day not later than 7 days after the original date set for the election.

(4) While proceedings are adjourned, the returning officer shall make all reasonable effort to ensure that election materials are secured and that the integrity of the election is not compromised.

(5) A returning officer shall give notice to persons affected by an adjournment in a manner that he or she considers to be appropriate.

(6) Election proceedings that recommence after an adjournment shall continue for the time that, when added to the time preceding the adjournment, totals the time during which those election proceedings were to occur regardless of the adjournment.

(7) Where voting proceedings are adjourned, the counting of the vote shall not begin until the close of voting for the adjourned election proceeding.

Oath of office

9. (1) A person is not qualified to serve as a councillor and shall not take or sign the oath or affirmation of office unless he or she is qualified to be elected as a councillor and has been declared to be elected under this Act, except where he or she has been appointed as a regional councillor.

(2) A councillor shall, before entering on the duties of his or her office, take and sign an oath or affirmation of office in the required form before the returning officer, clerk, provincial court judge, justice of the peace or commissioner for oaths.

(3) In a city, the oath or affirmation required under subsection (2) may be taken and signed before a judge of the court.

(4) The oath or affirmation of office required under subsections (2) and (3) shall be an official record of the municipality to which it relates.

Term of office

10. The term of office of a councillor, whether elected or appointed, shall

(a) begin within 2 weeks of his or her election or appointment provided that the total number of councillors elected or appointed constitutes a quorum; and

(b) expire when the number of newly elected councillors sufficient to constitute a quorum are sworn or affirmed into office.

Filling vacancies

11. (1) Where, in an election or by-election held under this Act,

(a) no candidates are nominated;

(b) fewer candidates are nominated than there are councillors to be elected; or

(c) for another reason the number of councillors to be elected is less than that provided for in an election or by-election,

a further election or by-election shall be called not more than 30 days after the date of the original election or by-election and where paragraphs (a) to (c) continue to apply after that further election or by-election call the minister may, after the date fixed for nomination day, appoint as many councillors as are necessary to bring the council up to the number provided for the council.

(2) A councillor appointed under subsection (1) holds office for the same term that he or she would have served had he or she been elected as a councillor in the election or by-election.

First election

12. For the purpose of holding the first election in a municipality, the minister may

(a) appoint a returning officer, deputy returning officers, and poll clerks and other election officials that he or she considers necessary;

(b) establish polling divisions; and

(c) provide for all other matters necessary for the holding of the first election.

Election officials

13. (1) The clerk shall be the returning officer for an election held under this Act and, where there is no clerk or the clerk is unable to act, the council shall appoint a returning officer.

(2) A council shall, in addition to a returning officer referred to in subsection (1), appoint an alternate returning officer to perform the duties of a returning officer under this Act in the event that the returning officer cannot perform those duties.

(3) Where a municipality is not divided into wards or polling divisions, elections shall be conducted by the returning officer and a poll clerk appointed by the returning officer.

(4) A returning officer may establish 2 or more polling divisions for the municipality and for each ward where wards have been established and shall appoint a deputy returning officer and a poll clerk for each polling division and shall designate the location of the polling divisions.

(5) Where a municipality is divided into wards, elections shall be conducted by a deputy returning officer and a poll clerk appointed for the ward by the returning officer where a ward is not divided into polling divisions.

(6) Where, on election day, an election official, other than the returning officer, is unable to perform his or her duties, an alternate election official shall be appointed by the returning officer to perform those duties.

(7) The following persons are ineligible to serve as a returning officer, alternate returning officer, deputy returning officer, poll clerk or other election official in connection with an election held under this Act:

(a) a councillor for the municipality in which the election is being held;

(b) a person who has been found guilty of an offence related to an election under this Act or a former Act;

(c) a person who intends to be nominated or is nominated to be a candidate in the municipality in which the election is being held; and

(d) a person who is, voluntarily or for pay, working or intending to work on the campaign of a candidate in the election.

(8) For the purpose of paragraph (7)(b), a "former Act" includes the City of Corner Brook Act, City of Mount Pearl Act, City of St. Johnís Act, Municipalities Act, Municipalities Act, 1999 and the St. Johnís Municipal Elections Act.

Nomination

14. (1) The returning officer shall designate the place for receiving nominations.

(2) Candidates shall be nominated between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on one or more days determined by the council, excluding Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, from the twenty-eighth to the twenty-first day immediately before the election.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), where a council decides to conduct nominations on only one of the days referred to in subsection (2), the hours of nomination shall be from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on that day.

(4) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (3), a candidate for an election in a municipality that conducts its election under Part V, shall be nominated between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on any of the days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from the thirty-fifth to the twenty-eighth day immediately before the election.

(5) Notice of the time and place fixed for nominating candidates shall be posted by the returning officer in not fewer than 2 places in the municipality for the 10 days before the time fixed for the nomination of candidates, and published in a newspaper having general circulation in the municipality, where there is such a newspaper, during that period.

Qualification

15. (1) A person is qualified to be nominated as a candidate for councillor who

(a) is eligible to vote in an election held under this Act in the municipality in which he or she is nominated to serve as a councillor;

(b) is not in arrears of taxes or other charges payable to the municipality; and

(c) is ordinarily resident for a period of 30 days before the commencement of the nomination period either in the municipality or in an area that on election day is part of a municipality.

(2) A person is not qualified to be nominated as a candidate for councillor

(a) while he or she holds an office under the council to which a salary or remuneration payable out of the funds of the municipality is attached;

(b) while he or she is employed by the council; and

(c) where he or she is the chief administrative officer of an agency or body established by the council and that agency or body has an annual operating budget that must be approved by the council for which that officer seeks nomination as a candidate.

(3) A person is not qualified to be nominated as a candidate for councillor in an election where

(a) he or she was dismissed as a councillor or his or her seat as a councillor has been vacated under paragraphs 206(1)(b) or (e) or subparagraph 206(1)(f)(iii) of the Municipalities Act, 1999; or

(b) his or her seat as a councillor was declared vacant under subsection 20(2) of the City of Corner Brook Act or the City of Mount Pearl Act, subsection 206(2) of the Municipalities Act, 1999 or section 11 of the City of St. Johnís Act,

where that election is held not more than 2 years after the date on which that person was dismissed as a councillor or his or her seat was vacated or declared vacant.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply to a volunteer firefighter of a municipality who is not a fire chief.

(5) A person is not qualified to be nominated as a candidate for councillor if he or she is a

(a) member of the House of Commons or the Senate of Canada;

(b) member of the House of Assembly of the province; or

(c) judge of the Supreme Court or the Provincial Court of the province.

(6) Notwithstanding subsection (3), where, after the coming into force of the Municipalities Act, 1999, a councillorís seat was vacated under paragraph 206(1)(e) of that Act, that councillor may be nominated as a candidate for councillor and is eligible for election in the first general election of councillors held after the coming into force of that Act.

(7) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a person referred to in that subsection who is not a clerk, manager or department head, excluding a volunteer department head, with a council may request, and the council shall grant to that person, a leave of absence in order for that person to be nominated as a candidate for council.

(8) A person to whom a leave of absence is granted under subsection (7) who is elected as a councillor shall resign from his or her employment with the council before taking his or her oath or affirmation of office as a councillor.

Nomination procedure

16. (1) A candidate for the office of councillor shall be nominated by persons eligible to vote who are resident in the ward for which he or she is a candidate, where the municipality is divided into wards, or by persons eligible to vote who are resident in the municipality, where the municipality is not divided into wards.

(2) A nomination

(a) shall be in writing;

(b) shall state the name and civic address of the candidate;

(c) shall be signed by the proposer and seconder, both of whom shall be present together with the candidate who shall also sign signifying his or her acceptance; and

(d) shall be in the required form.

(3) In the cities of Corner Brook, Mount Pearl and St. Johnís, a candidate for mayor shall be nominated in the same manner as a councillor under subsection (1) but shall run as a candidate for mayor only.

(4) In the city of St. Johnís, a candidate for deputy mayor shall be nominated in the same manner as a councillor under subsection (1) but shall run as a candidate for deputy mayor only.

Declaration of qualification

17. (1) The returning officer shall not receive the nomination paper of a candidate unless there is attached to it a declaration of qualification in the required form.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph 16(2)(c), where a candidate is unable to attend his or her nomination and as a result is unable to signify his or her acceptance or complete his or her declaration of qualification, the returning officer may accept, in the required form, a declaration to that effect from one of the candidate's nominators together with a declaration from the nominator that the candidate possesses the qualifications required by this Act and accepts the nomination.

Deposit

18. A candidate

(a) in a town or a region, at the time of his or her nomination shall deposit a sum of $10; and

(b) in a city, at the time of his or her nomination, shall deposit a sum of $50,

with the returning officer and that sum is not refundable.

Notice of candidates

19. The returning officer shall, within 7 days after the date on which nominations close, give notice of the names of the candidates, and, if an election is required, the time of the election and the location of polling booths, by publishing a notice in a newspaper circulating in the municipality, where there is such a newspaper, and by posting the notice in at least 2 public places in the municipality or in each ward in which elections are to be held.

Acclamation

20. Where

(a) only as many candidates for the office of councillor are nominated as there are councillors to be elected; or

(b) fewer candidates for the office of councillor are nominated than there are councillors to be elected,

the returning officer shall, without an election being held, declare those candidates who are nominated to be elected at the close of nominations.

Grant of election

21. Where more candidates are nominated for the office of councillor than there are councillors to be elected or, where the municipality is divided into wards, more than the required number of candidates are nominated for a ward, the returning officer shall conduct an election in the municipality or wards.

PART II
VOTERS

Voters

22. A Canadian citizen who is 18 years of age or older is qualified to vote at an election where he or she has been ordinarily resident for the 30 days immediately before election day either in the municipality or in an area that on election day is a part of the municipality.

Voting

23. (1) Where a municipality is divided into wards or polling divisions, each voter shall vote in the ward or polling division in which he or she ordinarily lives on election day, as determined by the rules of residency set out in section 24.

(2) A voter shall not vote in more than one ward or polling division during an election.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where an election official is assigned to a polling division other than that in which he or she ordinarily lives on election day, the election official may only vote in the polling division to which he or she has been assigned or at an advance poll or by proxy.

(4) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (3), where an election official is assigned to a polling division in a ward other than the ward in which he or she ordinarily lives on election day, the election official may only vote at an advance poll or by proxy.

(5) A person shall not vote in more than one municipality on election day.

Residency

24. (1) The following rules shall determine the residency of a person for the purpose of this Act:

(a) a person shall be a resident of the place where he or she lives and sleeps and to which, when absent, he or she intends to return;

(b) residency is not lost by a person who leaves that residence for temporary purposes only; and

(c) the place where a personís family resides shall be his or her residence unless that person commences and continues to live at some other place with the intention of remaining there, in which case, the person shall be considered to be resident in the place in which he or she intends to reside.

(2) A person shall, for the purpose of this Act, have only one place of residency.

Oath or affirmation of voters

25. (1) Where required by a candidate or candidate's agent, a voter shall, before voting, take an oath or affirmation in the required form, which shall be administered by the returning officer or deputy returning officer.

(2) A voter who refuses to take an oath or affirmation under subsection (1) shall not be permitted to vote.

Advance poll

26. (1) A council may hold an advance poll not earlier than 14 days immediately preceding the day established as election day.

(2) Where it considers it appropriate, a council may hold a second advance poll on the Saturday immediately preceding election day.

(3) The returning officer shall give notice of the time and place of the advance poll by publishing the time and place of the advance poll at least once in the 7 days before the advance poll in a newspaper circulating in the municipality, where there is such a newspaper, and by posting a notice in at least 2 public places in the municipality.

(4) The advance poll shall be conducted in the same manner as is provided for the conduct of other polls in an election, except that upon the ballot box being sealed at the opening of the first day of the advance poll, it shall remain sealed until opened for the counting of ballots after the close of the polls on election day.

(5) A ballot box that is used in the conduct of an advance poll shall not be used on election day.

(6) At an advance poll the poll clerk shall record in the poll book the names of the voters who vote at the advance poll and the polling divisions in which the voters live.

(7) A voter who is otherwise eligible to vote and who is an impeditive voter may vote in an advance poll.

(8) A record of those voters who voted in an advance poll, together with the polling divisions in which they reside shall be provided to the respective polling divisions on election day.

Voting by proxy

27. (1) An impeditive voter may, by an application to the returning officer in the required form, authorize another person who is a qualified voter in the same municipality to vote on his or her behalf in a specified election in that municipality.

(2) An application under subsection (1) shall contain declarations in the required form verifying

(a) that the applicant is an impeditive voter and qualified to vote in a polling division of the municipality in the election in respect of which the application is made; and

(b) that the proxy designated in the application is a voter qualified to vote in the same municipality and same election as the applicant.

(3) An application required under subsection (1) shall only be provided by the returning officer to the impeditive voter or the person designated by the impeditive voter as his or her proxy.

(4) An application under subsection (1) shall be given to the returning officer by the impeditive voter or his or her designated proxy not later than 4:00 p.m. on the day immediately before the day of the election in respect of which it is made.

(5) Where satisfied that the requirements of this section have been complied with, the returning officer shall issue a proxy certificate entitling the designated person to vote at the polling division and municipality specified on behalf of the impeditive voter for whom the proxy is designated.

(6) No more than one proxy certificate may be issued for any one impeditive voter in respect of an election, except where the proxy dies or becomes unable to cast a vote because of illness or mental incompetence.

(7) A person may not be proxy for more than one impeditive voter at any one election.

(8) Applications, declarations, proxy certificates and other documents required under this section shall be in the required form.

PART III
ELECTION MATERIALS AND PROCEDURES

Ballots

28. (1) Where an election has been declared, the returning officer shall immediately print a number of sequentially numbered ballots, not less than the number of voters in the municipality or wards in which elections are to be held.

(2) The ballots shall contain the names and civic addresses of the candidates as set out in the nomination paper, alphabetically arranged in the order of their surnames or, where there are 2 or more candidates with the same surname, in the order of their other names.

(3) The ballots shall be in the required form.

Election materials

29.  Where an election has been declared, the returning officer shall deliver to every deputy returning officer

(a) a list of the persons qualified to vote in the polling booth for which he or she has been appointed;

(b) a list of the voters who have voted in an advance poll;

(c) one or more ballot boxes;

(d) a sufficient number of ballots and the materials necessary to enable voters to mark them;

(e) a sufficient number of directions for the guidance of voters; and

(f) one or more poll books in the required form.

Directions

30. A returning officer or deputy returning officer shall place a copy of the directions for the guidance of voters, in the required form, in each polling booth of the polling station and shall see that they remain in place until voting has been completed.

Voterís lists

31. (1) At least 2 months before an election the returning officer shall

(a) where the municipality is not divided into wards or polling divisions, begin the preparation of a list of voters in the municipality; or

(b) where the municipality is divided into wards or polling divisions, begin the preparation of a list of voters in each ward or polling division where an election is to be held.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the returning officer may use a permanent register of electors established and maintained for use in a federal or provincial election.

(3) The returning officer shall ensure that the voter's list is completed at least one month before the date of the election.

(4) Where the name of a qualified voter does not appear on the list of voters or the name of a person not qualified as an elector does appear on the list, the returning officer shall, upon satisfactory proof being provided to him or her, correct that error or omission by inserting or omitting the name.

(5) The voters whose names appear in the list of voters certified by the returning officer are those entitled to vote at the next election and a person whose name does not appear upon the list shall not be allowed to vote at the election.

(6) Notwithstanding subsection (5), a person whose name has been omitted from the list of voters and is qualified to vote may vote at an election upon taking an oath or affirmation in the required form.

Use of list

32. (1) A list of voters prepared and revised for an election shall, where that election is deferred, constitute the list of voters for the deferred election.

(2) A list of voters prepared and revised for an election and used in that election or used in a deferred election may constitute the list of voters for a by-election held before the next general election or for an election or by-election ordered by the minister before the next general election.

(3) A returning officer shall, on the request of a candidate and after the payment of the prescribed fee, supply to the candidate a copy of a list of voters prepared and revised for the election.

(4) A candidate who receives a copy of the list of voters under subsection (3) shall, in the required form, certify that the information contained in the list will only be used for election purposes.

(5) A returning officer shall, upon the request of the sheriff as defined in the Sheriffís Act, 1991, the chief electoral officer of the province or Elections Canada, provide to them the information contained in a list of voters prepared under this Act.

Opening and close of poll

33. (1) A returning officer or deputy returning officer shall, on election day, open the polling booth assigned to him or her at 8:00 a.m. and shall keep that booth open until 8:00 p.m. and during that time shall receive the votes of all voters qualified to vote at the polling booth.

(2) Where the start of voting in accordance with subsection (1) is delayed, the returning officer shall extend the time for the close of the voting but the extension shall not permit voting for a longer length of time than would have been permitted had voting not been delayed.

(3) Where at the time set for the close of voting under subsection (1), there are voters waiting or in line outside the polling station in order to vote, those voters are entitled to vote and the polling booth shall remain open until their votes have been received.

(4) Voters other than those referred to in subsection (3) are not entitled to vote after the time set for the close of voting.

(5) The decision of the returning officer or deputy returning officer in charge of the polling booth as to who is or is not entitled to vote under subsection (3) is final and may not be appealed.

(6) A presiding election official shall notify the returning officer as soon as possible of a requirement for an extension of voting under this section.

Employee time to vote

34. (1) An employee who is qualified to vote at an election, is, while the polls are open on election day, entitled to have 4 consecutive hours for the purpose of casting his or her vote.

(2) When the hours of employment of a person described in subsection (1) do not allow for 4 consecutive hours, his or her employer shall allow the person the additional time for voting that is necessary to provide the 4 consecutive hours.

(3) An employer shall not make a deduction from the pay of an employee or impose upon or exact from the employee a penalty by reason of absence from his or her work during the 4 consecutive hours that the employee is entitled to under this section for the purpose of casting his or her vote.

(4) Additional time for voting required under subsection (2) may be granted at the convenience of the employer.

Polling booths

35. A polling station shall have one or more polling booths in which voters may mark their ballots screened from observation.

Who may be present

36. (1) During the conduct of voting no person is entitled or shall be permitted to be present in the polling station other than

(a) the presiding election officials appointed to conduct the election;

(b) the candidates to be voted for in the polling station and their agents, authorized in writing, not exceeding one agent for each candidate; and

(c) a voter actually engaged in voting.

(2) On election day, a candidate or his or her agents shall not campaign or distribute or cause to have distributed campaign materials in an area that is less than 30 metres from the entrance to a polling station.

Maintaining order

37. (1) The returning officer or a deputy returning officer, may order the removal of a person from the polling station who is not entitled to be present or who, being entitled, obstructs the voting, and the order shall be executed by a peace officer without the order being in writing and without a warrant.

(2) The returning officer or a deputy returning officer may have present or summon to his or her aid a peace officer for the purpose of maintaining order or preserving the peace.

Ballot box exhibited

38. At the hour fixed for opening the poll the returning officer or a deputy returning officer shall

(a) show the ballot box to the candidates or their agents, or persons that are present within the polling station, so that they may see that the ballot box is empty; and

(b) then immediately seal the ballot box, place it in view for the reception of ballots and keep it sealed until voting is concluded.

Oaths or affirmations

39. (1) A returning officer, deputy returning officer and poll clerk shall, before commencing their duties, take the oath or affirmation in the required form.

(2) Every other person authorized to attend at a polling station, or at the counting of the votes shall, before commencing his or her duties, take the oath or affirmation in the required form.

(3) An oath or affirmation required under subsection (1) or (2) shall be administered by the returning officer, a justice of the peace or a commissioner of oaths not later than 4:00 p.m. on the day immediately before election day.

(4) The returning officer, or deputy returning officer may administer an oath or affirmation required by this Act to be taken in the polling station for which he or she was appointed.

Confirmation of name

40. (1) When a voter presents himself or herself at the polling station for the purpose of voting, he or she shall state his or her name and civic address.

(2) The returning officer or deputy returning officer shall ascertain if the name of the

(a) voter is entered upon the list of voters for the polling station in which he or she is presiding; or

(b) person is not upon the list, that the person is entitled to take the required oath or affirmation in the required form.

(3) The poll clerk shall enter in the poll book the name of the voter, but shall not enter in the poll book or elsewhere the name of or anything to indicate the name of a candidate for whom the voter votes.

Noting of objections and oath or affirmation

41. (1) Where a voter is objected to by a candidate or his or her agent, the poll clerk shall enter the objection in the poll book by writing opposite the name of the person whose vote is objected to the words "objected to", together with the name of the candidate by or on behalf of whom the objection is made and the returning officer or deputy returning officer shall decide whether that person may vote.

(2) Where a voter takes an oath or affirmation required to be taken by this Act the poll clerk shall enter opposite the person's name the word "sworn" or "affirmed".

Refusal to take oath or affirmation

42. Where a voter is required to take an oath or affirmation and refuses to take it, the poll clerk shall enter opposite the name of the person in the poll book the words "refused to be sworn" or "refused to affirm", and a ballot shall not be issued to that person.

Delivery of ballots

43. Where the name of the voter is found on the list of voters for the polling booth or he or she takes the required oath or affirmation where permitted to do so by the returning officer or deputy returning officer, and where the appropriate entries respecting him or her have been made in the poll book, the returning officer or a deputy returning officer shall provide the voter with one ballot for mayor, one ballot for deputy mayor and ballots for councillors as is appropriate.

PART IV
VOTING

Proxy voting

44. Where a person produces to a returning officer or deputy returning officer a proxy certificate issued under section 27, the person may vote for the impeditive voter with respect to whom the certificate is issued.

Explanation of voting procedure

45. Upon the request of a prospective voter, the returning officer or deputy returning officer shall either personally or through his or her poll clerk, explain to the prospective voter as concisely as possible, the mode of voting, but shall not influence the voter to vote for a particular candidate in the election.

Voting

46. (1) Upon receiving a ballot, a voter shall

(a) immediately proceed to the assigned polling booth and shall then mark his or her ballot by marking an X on the part of the ballot within the division containing the names of the candidates for whom he or she intends to vote;

(b) then fold the ballot so as to conceal the names of the candidates and the marks upon the ballot; and

(c) without delay and without showing or displaying the ballot so as to make known the candidate for whom he or she voted, deposit the ballot in the ballot box.

(2) A voter shall immediately leave the polling station after he or she has voted.

(3) While a voter is in the process of marking his or her ballot, no person shall be in a position from which he or she can see how that voter marks his or her ballot.

Removal of ballots

47. (1) A person who has received a ballot shall not remove the ballot from the polling station.

(2) A person who has received a ballot and leaves the polling station without depositing it in the assigned ballot box forfeits his or her right to vote at the election.

(3) The poll clerk shall make an entry in the poll book in the column for remarks to the effect that the person received a ballot but took it out of the polling station, returned the ballot or declined to vote.

(4) Where a person has declined to vote, the poll clerk shall immediately write the word "declined" upon the ballot and shall return it to the returning officer or the deputy returning officer.

Incapacitated voter

48. (1) Notwithstanding subsection 46(3), a voter who indicates to the returning officer or a deputy returning officer that he or she requires assistance to mark his or her ballot, may be assisted by an election official or a person accompanying that voter.

(2) The poll clerk shall make an entry opposite the name of the voter in the poll book that their vote has been marked under this section.

(3) A person other than an election official shall not assist more than one voter, as described in subsection (1), in an election.

(4) Where a polling station or polling booth is not accessible to a voter described in subsection (1), the returning officer or deputy returning officer in charge of the polling station shall,

(a) suspend temporarily the voting in the polling booth; and

(b) carry the ballot box, poll book, ballots and other necessary election materials to a place which is accessible to the voter and is in close proximity to the entrance to the polling station.

(5) The procedure to be followed in taking the vote of a voter under subsection (4) shall, where circumstances permit, be the same as if the voter had entered the polling booth to vote.

Mobile and special polls

49. (1) Where a polling booth has been established in a home for the aged, hospital, correctional or other long term resident institution, the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk, while the poll is still open on polling day and when considered necessary by the deputy returning officer, shall

(a) temporarily suspend the voting in the polling booth; and

(b) with the approval of the person in charge of the institution, carry the ballot box, poll book, ballots and other necessary election materials from room to room in the institution to receive the votes of those persons who are presumed to be ordinarily resident in the municipality in which the election is being held and are otherwise qualified to vote but who are unable to go to the polling booth.

(2) The returning officer may provide mobile polling booths that may be open and used at different locations and for fewer than 12 hours on election day.

Spoiled ballot

50. (1) A voter who has inadvertently spoiled his or her ballot is, upon returning it to the returning officer or deputy returning officer, entitled to receive another ballot.

(2) The returning officer or deputy returning officer shall write the word "cancelled" upon the ballot returned to him or her and shall retain it.

Counting of ballots

51. (1) Immediately after the close of the poll, the returning officer or deputy returning officer shall

(a) place all the cancelled, declined and unused ballots in an envelope and seal it; and

(b) count the number of voters whose names appear in the poll book and sign the following certificate, which shall be entered in the poll book on the line immediately below the name of the voter who voted last:

"I certify that the number of voters who voted at the election in this polling booth is (stating the number in words) and that A.B. was the last person who voted at this polling booth."

(2) Immediately after the certificate required by subsection (1) has been signed by him or her, the returning officer, or deputy returning officer, in the presence and in full view of the poll clerk and any candidates or their agents who may be present, shall open the ballot box and count the total number of ballots cast and the number of votes for each candidate, giving full opportunity to those present to examine each ballot.

Rejected ballots

52. (1) When counting the votes, the returning officer, or deputy returning officer, shall reject all ballots

(a) that have given votes for more candidates than there are to be elected; or

(b) upon which there is writing, a mark or that have been torn, defaced or otherwise dealt with by the voter in a manner, that would permit that voter to be identified.

(2) A ballot shall not be rejected under subsection (1) by reason only that it has been marked with a writing instrument other than a black lead pencil or it has a mark other than an X, as long as the mark does not identify the voter.

(3) A ballot shall not be rejected in its entirety only because one or more of the votes on the ballot is rejected and in that case the votes not rejected shall be counted.

Objections

53. (1) The returning officer, or deputy returning officer, shall note in the poll book an objection taken to a ballot or a vote on a ballot by a candidate or his or her agent and shall uphold or reject the objection.

(2) An objection shall be numbered and a corresponding number shall be placed on the back of the ballot and initialled by the returning officer or the deputy returning officer, and when the objection is upheld the word "rejected" shall be marked on the face of the ballot so that it clearly indicates whether the entire ballot or a particular vote on the ballot is being rejected.

PART V
BALLOT BY MAIL

Regulations for mail voting

54. (1) A council of a municipality that is not a city may, by resolution vote to authorize voters to vote by mail in an election provided that council first obtains the approval, in writing, of the minister to conduct an election in that manner.

(2) A council of a city may by resolution vote to authorize voters to vote by mail in an election.

(3) Where a council has voted to conduct an election by mail under subsection (1) or (2), that council shall make the regulations with respect to a mail-in system of voting that are necessary to carry out the election and a regulation made under this section applies to all elections for the council that made the regulation that occur more than 60 days after that regulation is made.

(4) Not fewer than 60 days before election day, the returning officer shall

(a) establish procedures and forms for the conduct of voting by mail; and

(b) provide a copy of the procedures and forms to each candidate for election.

(5) The procedures and forms established by the returning officer, if they are consistent with the principles established under this Act and the required form of documents established by the minister, shall be considered to have been established under this Act.

(6) Where regulations made under section 97 are in effect, sections 26, 27 and 34 apply only if those regulations specify that those sections apply.

PART VI
RESULTS

Account of ballots

55. (1) All ballots except those rejected shall be counted and an account shall be kept of the number of votes received by each candidate.

(2) All the ballots shall be put into separate envelopes as follows:

(a) all the used ballots that have not been objected to and have been counted;

(b) all the used ballots that have been objected to in whole or in part and have been counted, in whole or in part, all rejected ballots and all ballots that are used but unmarked; and

(c) all the cancelled, declined and unused ballots.

(3) Each envelope shall be endorsed so as to indicate its contents and the polling station to which it relates and shall be sealed by the returning officer or a deputy returning officer.

Statement of poll

56. (1) The returning officer or deputy returning officer shall make out a statement in duplicate as to the number of

(a) ballots received;

(b) ballots cast;

(c) ballots that have been objected to in whole or in part and have been counted in whole or in part;

(d) used ballots that have not been objected to and have been counted;

(e) ballots that have been rejected in whole or in part and have not been counted;

(f) cancelled ballots, ballots used but not marked, declined ballots, ballots taken from the polling booth and unused ballots; and

(g) votes received by each candidate.

(2) The statement shall be signed by the returning officer, or the deputy returning officer, and the poll clerk.

(3) One statement shall be attached to the poll book and the other, in the case of a deputy returning officer, shall be delivered by him or her to the place designated by the returning officer.

Disposition of materials and delivery of ballot box

57. (1) The poll book, the list of voters, the envelopes containing the ballots, and all other materials related to the election, except for the returning officer statement referred to in subsection 56(3) shall then be placed in the ballot box.

(2) The returning officer or deputy returning officer shall, after the requirements of subsection (1) have been carried out, immediately seal the ballot box and in the case of a deputy returning officer shall immediately deliver it and the statements referred to in subsection 56(3) to the place designated by the returning officer.

(3) Where a deputy returning officer is unable to deliver the ballot box, another election official designated by the deputy returning officer shall immediately deliver the ballot box and the statement to the place designated by the returning officer.

(4) The returning officer shall remain available on the evening of election day until all the ballot boxes and the statements referred to in subsection 56(3) have been returned.

Declaration of result

58. (1) After he or she has received the ballot boxes and statements of the number of votes cast at each polling booth, the returning officer shall

(a) without opening the ballot boxes, add up from the statements he or she has received the number of votes received by each candidate;

(b) not later than noon on the day following the election, publicly declare the results of the election; and

(c) not later than noon on the day following the election put up in some conspicuous place a statement signed by him or her showing the number of votes received by each candidate.

(2) The returning officer may, after he or she has received statements from polling booths and before publicly declaring a candidate elected, indicate to the public the number of votes received by each candidate.

Retention of ballot boxes

59. (1) Unless it is otherwise ordered by a court or unless a recount is demanded, the ballot boxes shall remain sealed as received by the returning officer and shall be retained by him or her for a period of 30 days after the election and until the termination of a legal proceeding instituted to test the validity of the election taken within that period of time.

(2) When the time has elapsed under subsection (1), the ballot boxes shall be unsealed and the ballots and other associated material shall be destroyed as authorized by the returning officer.

Tie vote

60. Where, upon the counting of the votes, 2 or more candidates have an equal number of votes and both or all of those candidates cannot be elected, the returning officer shall immediately

(a) write the names of those candidates on separate, identical blank sheets of paper;

(b) fold the sheets of paper in an identical manner so that the names are concealed;

(c) deposit them in a receptacle and withdraw the number of the sheets necessary to elect the candidates required to be elected; and

(d) declare the candidate whose name appears on the sheet withdrawn, to be elected.

Report

61. Within 7 days after an election is held under this Act the returning officer shall forward a report on the election to the minister.

PART VII
RECOUNT

Recount

62. (1) Where, in an election for councillors at large, the difference between the number of votes received by the candidate elected with the lowest number of votes and the candidate defeated with the highest number of votes is not more than 10 or a higher number that a council may determine, a candidate may request that the returning officer conduct a recount of the ballots cast in the election.

(2) Where, in an election for mayor, deputy mayor or a ward councillor, the difference between the number of votes received by the first and second place candidates is not more than 10 votes or a higher number that a council may determine, a candidate may request that the returning officer conduct a recount of the ballots cast in the election.

(3) A request for a recount under subsection (1) or (2) shall be filed with the returning officer, in writing, not more than 3 days after the date of the election and the returning officer shall commence the requested recount not more than 3 days after receiving that request.

(4) Where a recount is requested under this section with respect to votes cast for the category of mayor, deputy mayor, ward councillor or councillor at large only, the recount conducted by the returning officer shall be with respect to votes cast in that requested category only.

(5) The returning officer and officials that he or she may appoint shall conduct a recount held under this section.

(6) After the conclusion of a recount of the ballots, the ballots and other election material shall be returned to and resealed in the appropriate ballot boxes.

(7) The returning officer shall notify those candidates in the election who are affected by the recount of the time and place of the recount.

Recount requirements

63. (1) The returning officer, and officials he or she appoints to assist with the recount and each candidate affected by the recount or his or her agent, or at least 3 voters of the municipality or ward in which the election was held, shall be present at the recount.

(2) At the time and place appointed, the returning officer shall conduct or oversee a recount of the ballots cast in the election and shall decide upon the validity of questioned ballots.

64. (1) Notwithstanding that a recount has been conducted under section 62, a candidate in an election may, not more than 3 days after the date on which the official result of the election is declared by the returning officer, apply to a judge of the provincial court responsible for the area in which the election was held for a recount of the ballots.

(2) Where the judge is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for recounting the ballots, he or she may set a date, time and place at which the recount shall be conducted.

(3) The judge may order that the candidate applying for the recount under subsection (1) pay into the court an amount as security for costs that the judge considers to be reasonable.

(4) The returning officer shall, in accordance with the directions of the judge hearing the matter, give notice of the date, time and place for the recount not less than 24 hours before that recount is to occur.

(5) The returning officer shall attend before the judge with the sealed ballot boxes at the date, time and place set by the judge for the recount.

(6) After the judge has heard the evidence that he or she considers necessary and the ballots have been counted, the judge shall report the result of the recount to the returning officer.

Declaration of result

65. (1) Following a recount under section 62 or 64, the returning officer shall declare to be elected the candidate having the largest number of votes, together with, in the case where more than one candidate is entitled to be elected, the candidates up to the remaining number entitled to election standing next in order on the basis of number of votes received.

(2) In the event of a tie the election of a candidate shall be carried out by the returning officer in the same manner as provided in section 60.

PART VIII
FINANCES

Election expenses

66. The cost of the holding of elections including the cost of a recount under section 62 shall be paid out of the funds of the municipality, but the minister shall pay the costs of the first election in a new municipality.

Campaign contributions and disclosure

67. (1) Contributions to candidates shall be made only by natural persons individually or by corporations or trade unions, individually.

(2) Only a candidate or his or her agent may solicit, collect or accept contributions.

(3) A contribution to a candidate that is made by a person in a calendar year, the total value of which does not exceed $100, is not considered to be a contribution for the purpose of this section.

(4) A contribution given to a candidate in an amount that exceeds $100 shall be made only

(a) by a cheque that has the name of the contributor printed legibly on it and that is signed by the contributor and drawn on an account in the contributorís name;

(b) by a money order that identifies the name of the contributor; or

(c) in the case of a contribution by an individual by the use of a credit card, if that credit card has the name of the individual contributor imprinted or embossed on that card,

and that contribution shall not be accepted unless the contribution is made in accordance with this subsection.

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4), where money in an amount exceeding $100 is anonymously contributed to a candidate, that money shall not be utilized by the candidate in the election but shall be paid to the council and used to offset the costs of the election.

(6) A candidate elected in an election shall, not more than 90 days after the election, file with the returning officer a statement in the required form and made under oath or affirmation stating the total amount of the contributions received by him or her and the amount of the contributions donated to his or her campaign by contributors that exceeded $100 and the contributors of those amounts.

(7) A candidate elected in an election who did not receive any one contribution in an amount exceeding $100 shall, not more than 90 days after the election, file with the returning officer a statement under oath or affirmation stating the total amount of the contributions received by him or her and that he or she did not receive any one contribution in an amount that exceeded $100.

(8) A statement filed under subsection (6) or (7) shall be considered to be an official record of the municipality and, upon request, shall be made available for inspection by members of the public.

(9) In this section a "contribution" means a contribution of money.

PART IX
PETITIONS

Petitions

68. (1) A petition complaining of

(a) an unlawful return or election of a councillor;

(b) no return or a double return; or

(c) an unlawful act committed by a candidate returned, by which that candidate is alleged to have become disqualified to serve on the council,

may be presented to the court by a candidate for the election or another person who had the right to vote at the election.

(2) The production of the list of electors containing the name of the petitioner as set out in the petition, or a copy, certified by the returning officer to be a true copy, of the list used in the election in the municipality to which the petition relates is conclusive evidence that the petitioner could lawfully present the petition.

(3) Where the petitioner was a candidate at the election, or if there is no list of electors or the petitioner's name does not appear on the list, an affidavit by the petitioner that he or she was a candidate or an elector at that election is conclusive evidence that the petitioner could lawfully present the petition.

Order to compel return

69. (1) Where a petition is presented under this Part complaining of no return, an order may be made on that petition by the court as it considers expedient for compelling a return to be made, or the court may allow that petition to be tried in the manner provided in this Act with respect to ordinary election petitions.

(2) Where an election petition complains of the conduct of a returning officer, the returning officer is considered to be a respondent.

Joining of respondents

70. Two or more candidates may be made respondents to the same petition and their cases may for the sake of convenience be tried at the same time, but as regards the security to be given on behalf of the petitioner, and for all other purposes of this Part, the petition is considered to be a separate petition against each respondent.

Form of petition

71. (1) A petition need not be in a particular form but it shall complain

(a) of the unlawful return or unlawful election of a councillor;

(b) that no return has been made;

(c) that a double return has been made;

(d) of some matter contained in a special return made; or

(e) of some unlawful act by a candidate.

(2) The petition shall be signed by the petitioner.

Limitation period

72. (1) A petition complaining of the unlawful return or the unlawful election of a councillor or of a double return may be presented within 30 days after the return has been made by the returning officer of the councillor to whose election the petition relates.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where the petition questions the return or election upon an allegation of corrupt practices, and specifically alleges a payment of money or other reward to have been made by a councillor or on his or her account or with his or her knowledge since the time of that return in pursuit of or to further those corrupt practices, the petition may be presented within one month after the date of that alleged payment.

Amendment of petition

73. A petition presented within the limitation period may, upon an allegation of a corrupt or illegal practice upon which a petition might be presented, and with the leave of the court, be amended by alleging that corrupt or illegal practice before the expiration of the time within which a petition based upon that corrupt or illegal practice might have been presented.

No return petition

74. Where a petition complains of no return, it may be presented after the expiration of 7 days after the day upon which the return should have been made.

Counter petition

75. A candidate against whom a petition has been presented, may, within 15 days from the presentation of the petition, present a petition to the court complaining of the unlawful return or election of a person, or of an unlawful act committed by a person who has been a candidate at an election under this Act.

Presentation of petition

76. The presentation of a petition shall be made by delivering it to the office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court during office hours.

Security for costs

77. (1) At the time of the presentation of the petition, security for the payment of all costs, charges, and expenses that may become payable by the petitioner shall be given by him or her or on his or her behalf and shall be by 2 approved sureties, or by a deposit of money with the Registrar of the Supreme Court to the amount of $400.

(2) The clerk of the court shall give a receipt for those deposits, which shall be evidence of the sufficiency of the deposit.

Service of petition

78. Notice of the presentation of a petition under this Part and of the security, accompanied by a copy of the petition, shall, within 10 days or a further time that the court shall allow for the service of the petition, be served on the respondent.

Preliminary objections

79. (1) Within 5 days after the service of the petition, or a further time that the court allows, the respondent may file in the court a preliminary objection or grounds of insufficiency that he or she may have to urge against the petition or petitioners, or against a further proceeding, and shall in that case at the same time serve a copy of that objection upon the petitioner.

(2) The court shall hear the parties on those objections and grounds and shall decide the matter in a summary manner.

(3) Within 5 days after the decision upon the preliminary objections, and upon the hearing of them, if disallowed, or on the expiration of the time for presenting the preliminary objections, if none has been presented, the respondent may file a written answer to the petition and shall serve a copy of that answer upon the petitioner.

Trial

80. (1) Whether an answer is or is not filed, the petition is at issue after the expiration of the time for filing the petition, and the court may afterward, upon the application of either party, fix the time for the trial of the petition.

(2) Notice of the time and place at which election petitions are to be tried shall be given by the petitioner not less than 10 days before the day on which the trial is to take place.

(3) The trial may be adjourned from one place to another where cause is shown, supported by an affidavit, and where special circumstances exist that, in the opinion of the judge make it desirable to do so, but the trial, where practicable, shall be proceeded with from day to day until concluded.

Certificate

81. (1) At the conclusion of the trial the judge shall determine

(a) whether the councillor whose election or return is complained of was returned or elected;

(b) whether some other person should be returned or elected; or

(c) whether the election is void.

(2) The judge shall immediately certify in writing a determination made under subsection (1) to the minister, appending to it a copy of the notes of the evidence.

(3) The determination of the judge as certified under subsection (2) is final.

Report where corrupt practices

82. Where a charge is made in an election petition of a corrupt practice having been committed at the election to which the petition refers, the judge shall in addition to the certificate and at the same time report in writing to the minister

(a) whether a corrupt practice has or has not been proved to have been committed by or with the knowledge or consent of a candidate at the election, and the nature of the corrupt practice;

(b) the names of all persons who have been proved at the trial to have been guilty of a corrupt practice; and

(c) if corrupt practices have extensively prevailed at the election to which the petition relates, or there is reason to believe that corrupt practices have extensively prevailed.

Invalidation of election

83. (1) Where it is found by the judge upon a petition under this Part that a corrupt practice has been committed by or with the knowledge or consent of a candidate in the election complained of, the candidate is considered to be personally guilty of the corrupt practice and his or her election, if he or she has been elected, is void.

(2) In addition to the consequences of a finding of a corrupt practice under subsection (1) the candidate may not again be a candidate for election to a council held within 4 years of the finding of that corrupt practice.

Special case

84. (1) Where, upon the application of a party to an election petition, it appears to the judge that the case raised by the petition can be conveniently stated as a special case, he or she may direct the case to be so stated, and that special case shall be heard and decided before him or her.

(2) Upon making his or her decision the judge shall certify to the minister his or her decision on that special case.

Corrupt practice charge

85. Unless the judge otherwise directs, a charge of a corrupt practice may be investigated and evidence in relation to that charge received before proof has been given of complicity on the part of a candidate in respect of the corrupt practice.

Ministerial action

86. The minister shall at the earliest practical moment after he or she receives the certificate and report of the judge, give the necessary directions and adopt all the proceedings necessary for confirming or altering the return or for the ordering of a new election or for otherwise carrying the determination into effect.

Consolidation of petitions

87. Where more than one petition is presented relating to the same election or return, all the petitions may be dealt with on the application of the respondent in the same manner as actions may be consolidated according to the practice of the court.

Petition withdrawal

88. (1) An election petition

(a) may be withdrawn by leave of the court on application of the petitioner, subject to terms which the court may direct; or

(b) may, upon the application of the respondent and by leave of the court, be dismissed for want of prosecution after 2 months from the filing of the election petition.

(2) Where there is more than one petitioner, no application to withdraw a petition may be made except with the consent of all the petitioners.

(3) Where a petition is withdrawn, the petitioner is liable to pay the costs of the respondent unless the court otherwise orders.

Abatement

89. (1) An election petition under this Act is considered cancelled upon the death of a sole petitioner or of the survivor of individual petitioners or upon the death of the respondent.

(2) The cancellation of a petition does not affect the liability of the petitioner for the payment of costs previously incurred.

Substituted petitioners

90. (1) Notwithstanding subsection 89(1), on the cancellation of a petition by the death of a sole petitioner or the survivor of individual petitioners, a person who might have been a petitioner in respect of the election to which the petition relates may, within 21 days after the cancellation, apply to the court to be substituted as a petitioner.

(2) The court may, where it thinks appropriate, substitute as a petitioner an applicant who wishes to be substituted and on whose behalf security to the same amount is deposited as is required in the case of a new petition.

Taxation of costs

91. All costs, charges and expenses paid or incurred by a party to an election petition shall be taxed and allowed by the judge and may be recovered by execution in accordance with the Judgment Enforcement Act and the Rules of the Supreme Court, 1986.

Questions

92. (1) A person who has voted at an election shall not, in legal proceedings held to question the election or the result of the election, be required to state for whom he or she has voted.

(2) A person shall not be excused from answering a question put to him or her in an action, suit or other proceeding before a judge, court or other tribunal with respect to the election or the conduct of a person or in relation to that action, suit or proceeding on the ground of privilege or on the ground that the answer to the question shall tend to incriminate him or her as an offender under this Part.

Procedure

93. Where a procedure is not provided for under this Act the procedure upon the hearing of petitions provided under the Judicature Act and the Rules of the Supreme Court, 1986 apply so far as they are applicable.

Effect of corrupt practice

94. (1) Where a corrupt practice was committed by an agent without the knowledge and consent of the candidate, and the corrupt practice was of such trifling nature or extent that the result of an election cannot have been affected by that practice, either alone or in conjunction with other corrupt practices at the election, that corrupt practice shall not void the election.

(2) Where the judge upon the trial of an election petition finds

(a) that an act constituting in law a corrupt practice was committed by a candidate or with his or her knowledge and consent, but without corrupt intent, and by an inadvertence that was involuntary and excusable; and

(b) that the evidence showed the candidate to have honestly wished and in good faith tried as far as he could to have the election conducted according to law,

the candidate is not subject to the penalties and disabilities that he or she would but for this section incur.

Effect of mistakes

95. An election may not be declared to be invalid

(a) for non-compliance with the provisions of this Act as to the taking of the poll or anything preliminary to the taking of the poll or as to the counting of the votes;

(b) because of a mistake in the use of the required forms; or

(c) because of a mistake or irregularity in the proceedings at or in relation to the election,

where it appears to the court, by which the validity of the election or a proceeding in relation to it is to be determined, that the election was conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in this Act, and it does not appear that the non-compliance, mistake, or irregularity affected the result of the election.

Corrupt practices

96. (1) A person commits a corrupt practice who

(a) directly or indirectly by himself or herself or by another person on his or her behalf, gives or lends or agrees to give or lend, or offers, promises, or promises to obtain or to try to obtain, money or valuable consideration

(i) to or for a voter,

(ii) to or for a person on behalf of a voter, or

(iii) to or for another person,

in order to induce a voter to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does such an act on account of that voter having voted or refrained from voting at an election;

(b) directly or indirectly by himself or herself or by another person on his or her behalf, gives or obtains, or offers or promises to obtain, or tries to obtain an office or place of employment for a voter or for another person in order to induce that voter to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does such an act on account of a voter having voted or refrained from voting at an election;

(c) directly or indirectly by himself or herself or by another person on his or her behalf, makes a gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement to or for a person in order to induce that person to obtain or try to obtain the election of a person as a councillor or the vote of a voter at an election;

(d) upon or in consequence of a gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement, obtains or promises or tries to obtain the election of a person to serve as a councillor or the vote of a voter at an election; or

(e) advances or pays money to or for the use of a person, with the intent that the money or part of it is to be used contrary to this section at an election, or knowingly advances or pays money to a person in discharge or repayment of money wholly or in part used at an election.

(2) Subsection (1) does not extend to money paid or agreed to be paid in good faith for or on account of legal expenses incurred at or concerning an election.

(3) A person commits a corrupt practice who

(a) directly or indirectly by himself or herself or by another person on his or her behalf makes use of or threatens to make use of force, violence or restraint, or inflicts or threatens to inflict, by himself or herself, or by another person, injury, damage, harm or loss, upon or against a person, in order to induce or compel that person to vote or refrain from voting or on account of that person having voted or refrained from voting at an election; or

(b) by abduction, duress or fraudulent device or contrivance, impedes or prevents the free exercise of the right to vote by a voter, or as a result compels, induces, or prevails upon a voter either to vote or refrain from voting at an election.

(4) A candidate and a person on a candidate's behalf who

(a) directs, controls, or advises a returning officer, deputy returning officer or poll clerk in or about a matter concerning his or her duties; or

(b) pays money to an agent of a candidate

commits a corrupt practice.

PART X
REGULATIONS AND FORMS

Regulations

97. (1) Where, under Part V, a municipality decides to conduct elections by mail, that municipality shall make the necessary regulations to enable it to carry out an election by mail.

(2) A regulation made under subsection (1) and procedures and forms established under subsection 54(4) shall not come into force or be considered to be established without the prior written approval of the minister.

Forms

98. (1) The minister may establish forms for the purpose and administration of this Act.

(2) A reference in this Act to a "required form" means in the form that the minister may establish under subsection (1).

PART XI
OFFENCE AND PENALTY

Offence

99. (1) A returning officer who

(a) neglects to perform the duties imposed upon him or her under this Act;

(b) knowingly places on the list of voters the name of a person not entitled to vote; and

(c) knowingly strikes from the list of voters the name a person qualified to vote,

with respect to an election being conducted by him or her is guilty of an offence.

(2) An election official, candidate or other person who

(a) gives a ballot to a voter;

(b) offers to give a voter advice as to the person for whom he or she should vote;

(c) interferes with the voterís exercise of his or her vote; and

(d) divulges to a person the name of the person for whom another voter has voted,

in contravention of this Act, is guilty of an offence.

(3) An election official who knowingly miscounts the ballots or makes a false statement of the poll is guilty of an offence.

(4) A person who

(a) is not entitled to vote but knowingly votes;

(b) fraudulently tenders more than one ballot when voting; or

(c) votes or attempts to vote under the name of another voter or having voted under another name, requests a ballot in his or her own name,

is guilty of an offence.

(5) An elected candidate who does not file the statement, oath or affirmation required under subsection 67(6) or (7) or who fraudulently files an incorrect statement under those subsections is guilty of an offence.

(6) An election official, candidate or his or her agent who uses the information contained in the voterís list for other than election purposes is guilty of an offence.

(7) A person who commits a corrupt practice under section 96 is guilty of an offence.

(8) A person who contravenes this Act or a regulation made under this Act, is guilty of an offence.

(9) Each day upon which the same offence is committed or continued is a separate offence.

Penalty

100. (1) A person who commits an offence under section 99 is liable on summary conviction

(a) for a first offence to a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than one month or to both the fine and imprisonment; and

(b) for a subsequent offence to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than 3 months or to both the fine and imprisonment.

(2) Where a fine imposed under subsection (1) is not paid within the time allowed for payment, or immediately if no time is allowed, the council or person acting on the councilís behalf may, by filing the conviction, enter as a judgment in the Trial Division the amount of the fine and the judgment is enforceable against the convicted defendant as if it were a judgment against the defendant in a civil proceeding of the Trial Division.

(3) A fine recovered under this Act shall be forwarded by the court imposing the fine to the council to which it relates.

PART XII
CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS, REPEAL AND COMMENCEMENT

RSN1990 cC-15 Amdt.

101. (1) Paragraph 2(e) of the City of Corner Brook Act is repealed and the following substituted:

(e) "election" means a general election, by-election or a special election held under the Municipal Elections Act;

(2) Subsection 13(1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Mayor and councillors

13. (1) The council shall consist of a mayor and not fewer than 6 councillors as may be prescribed by the minister and the mayor and councillors shall be elected in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act.

(3) Sections 15 and 16 of the Act are repealed.

(4) Subsections 19(2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) of the Act are repealed.

(5) Section 34 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Quorum

34. (1) A majority of the number of councillors that may be elected for the city constitute a quorum for the purposes of a meeting of the council.

(2) Where the number of councillors holding office is less than a quorum, the minister may appoint a sufficient number of councillors to make a quorum.

(3) A councillor appointed under subsection (2) holds office until the expiration of the term of office of the councillors who held office on the councillor's appointment.

(6) Subsection 53(2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

(2) A plebiscite shall, with the necessary changes, be held in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act.

(7) Part X of the Act is repealed.

RSN1990 cC-16 Amdt.

102. (1) Paragraph 2(e) of the City of Mount Pearl Act is repealed and the following substituted:

(e) "election" includes a general election, a by-election and a special election held under the Municipal Elections Act;

(2) Subsection 13(1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Mayor and councillors

13. (1) The council shall consist of a mayor and not fewer than 6 councillors as may be prescribed by the minister and the mayor and councillors shall be elected in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act.

(3) Sections 15 and 16 of the Act are repealed.

(4) Subsections 19(2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) of the Act are repealed.

(5) Section 34 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Quorum

34. (1) A majority of the number of councillors that may be elected for the city constitute a quorum for the purposes of a meeting of the council.

(2) Where the number of councillors holding office is less than a quorum, the minister may appoint a sufficient number of councillors to make a quorum.

(3) A councillor appointed under subsection (2) holds office until the expiration of the term of office of the councillors who held office on the councillor's appointment.

(6) Subsection 53(2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

(2) A plebiscite shall, with the necessary changes, be held in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act.

(7) Part X of the Act is repealed.

RSN1990 cC-17 Amdt.

103. (1) Section 2 of the City of St. Johnís Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (i) the following:

(i.1) "election" means a general election, by-election or special election held under the Municipal Elections Act;

(2) Sections 7 and 8 of the Act are repealed.

(3) Sections 15.1 and 15.2 of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Vacancy re: mayor

15.1 Where a vacancy occurs in the office of the mayor more than 12 months before the expiration of the term of office of the council, a by-election shall be held to fill that position but if a vacancy occurs in the office of mayor fewer than 12 months before the expiration of the term of office of the council, the deputy mayor shall assume the office of mayor for the remaining term of office of the mayor and has the powers and shall exercise the duties of the mayor.

Vacancy re: deputy mayor

15.2 Where a vacancy occurs in the office of deputy mayor more than 12 months before the expiration of the term of office of the council, a by-election shall be held to fill that position but if a vacancy occurs in the office of deputy mayor fewer than 12 months before the expiration of the term of office of the council a deputy mayor shall be elected by the mayor and councillors at the first meeting of the council after the vacancy occurs.

SN1999 cM-24 Amdt.

104. (1) Paragraph 2(1)(j) of the Municipalities Act, 1999 is repealed and the following substituted:

(j) "election" means a general election, by-election or special election held under the Municipal Elections Act;

(2) Section 36 of the Act is amended by deleting the comma after the roman numeral "X" and by deleting the roman numeral "XII".

(3) Subsection 220(2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

(2) A plebiscite shall, with the necessary changes, be held in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act.

(4) Part XII of the Act is repealed.

(5) Paragraphs 419(1)(c), (d), (e) and (f) of the Act are repealed.

RSN1990 cS-5 Rep.

105. The St. Johnís Municipal Elections Act is repealed.

Commencement

106. This Act shall come into force on a day to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©Earl G. Tucker, Queen's Printer