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SNL1992 CHAPTER E-3.1

ELECTIONS ACT, 1991

Amended:

1992 c.52 s.7(2); 1993 c53 s9; 1993 c56; 1995 c21; 1998 c6 s9; 1998 c13; 2001 cN-3.1 s2; 2004 c44 s3; 2004 c47 s13; 2007 cH-10.1 s70; 2007 c22; 2011 cC37.00001 s50 (not in force-therefore note included here); 2013 c13 s3; 2013 c16 s25; 2014 c22; 2-14 cC-10.1 s60; 2016 c6 s6; 2017 c17

CHAPTER 17

AN ACT TO AMEND THE ELECTIONS ACT, 1991

(Assented to October 20, 2017 )

Analysis


        1.   S.58 Amdt.
Polling day

        2.   S.59 R&S

              Nomination day

        3.   Ss. 86 to 86.10 R&S

              86.   Application for special ballot

              86.1 Special Ballot Administrator appointed

              86.2 Additional information

              86.3 Approval of   application

              86.4 Casting of vote

              86.5 Appointment of representative

              86.6 Counting of ballots

              86.7 Transmittal of results

              86.8 Name of electors

              86.9 Administrative procedures

              86.10 Special ballots

        4.   S.226.1 Amdt.

              Campaign advertising

        5.   S.226.2 Amdt.

              Rates for advertising


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

SNL1992 cE-3.1
as amended

        1. Subsection 58(1) of the Elections Act, 1991 is repealed and the following substituted:

Polling day

      58. (1) The day of polling to be fixed by the proclamation required under section 57 shall be a day not less than 28 clear days from the date of the proclamation nor more than 35 clear days.

        2. Section 59 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Nomination day

      59. The day to be appointed by the proclamation required under section 57 for the close of nominations of candidates shall be the eighth day after the date of the proclamation.

 

        3. Sections 86 to 86.10 of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Application for special ballot

      86. (1) An elector who is qualified to vote at an election and who has reason to believe that he or she will have difficulty voting at an advance poll or at the poll on polling day may apply to vote by special ballot.

             (2)  A person who is detained in a penitentiary or jail in the province or who is in detention at the Waterford Hospital may vote only by special ballot.

             (3)  An application to vote by special ballot may be made by those methods that are acceptable to the Chief Electoral Officer.

             (4)  An application to vote by special ballot may be made to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer beginning not more than 4 weeks before the issue of the writ of election and ending at 6:00 p.m. on a day to be determined by the Chief Electoral Officer.

             (5)  An application to vote by special ballot shall contain the information that the Chief Electoral Officer may require, including

             (a)  the name of the applicant and the address of the applicant's residence in the province;

             (b)  proof of the applicant's identity by reference to documents of a class determined by the Chief Electoral Officer; and

             (c)  the applicant's mailing address.

             (6)  A person who knowingly makes a false statement in an application under this section is guilty of an offence.

             (7)  Section 91 and subsections 92(2) and (3) shall not apply to a special ballot.

Special Ballot Administrator appointed

   86.1 (1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall appoint a Special Ballot Administrator.

             (2)  The Chief Electoral Officer shall assign the duties of the Special Ballot Administrator and shall fix his or her remuneration on a scale approved by the House of Assembly Management Commission continued under section 18 of the House of Assembly Accountability, Integrity and Administration Act.

             (3)  The Special Ballot Administrator is responsible to the Chief Electoral Officer for his or her actions.

             (4)  The Special Ballot Administrator shall, before taking up office, swear an oath in the prescribed form.

             (5)  Where the Special Ballot Administrator dies, becomes disqualified or incapable of acting or refuses to act, or is removed from office for another reason, the Chief Electoral Officer shall at once appoint a substitute, who, before taking up his or her appointment, shall swear an oath in the prescribed form.

Additional information

   86.2 The Special Ballot Administrator or his or her designate may, where an application for a special ballot does not contain all the information required by subsection 86(5), require an applicant to provide the additional information requested.

Approval of application

   86.3 (1) On receipt of an application under section 86, the Special Ballot Administrator or his or her designate shall

             (a)  ensure that the applicant's name is on the list of electors for the polling division in which he or she would otherwise vote;

             (b)  if the application is in order, issue a special ballot kit to the applicant after the close of nominations; and

             (c)  cross out the name of the applicant as it appears on the list, noting in the margin "special ballot issued".

             (2)  Where an application is received from a person whose name does not appear on the list of electors for the polling division in which he or she resides, the Special Ballot Administrator or his or her designate shall, if satisfied that the person is qualified to vote,

             (a)  add the person's name to the list of electors;

             (b)  if the application is in order, issue a special ballot kit to the applicant after the close of nominations; and

             (c)  cross the person's name off the list and note in the margin "special ballot issued".

             (3)  Once an elector's application to vote by special ballot has been accepted, a special ballot kit shall be issued to the elector after the close of nominations.

             (4)  An elector who is issued a special ballot kit may only vote by special ballot.

Casting of vote

   86.4 (1) On receipt of the special ballot kit, the elector shall mark the ballot by forming the letter "X" with a pen or pencil of any colour within the space on the ballot containing the name and particulars of the candidate for whom he or she intends to vote.

         (1.1)  Where a special ballot does not list the name and particulars of each candidate, the special ballot kit shall include a document with the name and particulars of each candidate.

             (2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), where the special ballot does not list the name and particulars of each candidate, the elector shall mark the ballot by printing with a pen or pencil of any colour, in the space provided, the name of the candidate, or the name of the candidate and the name of the political party of the candidate.

             (3)  After marking the ballot, the elector shall

             (a)  place the marked ballot in the ballot envelope;

             (b)  seal the ballot envelope;

             (c)  place the sealed ballot envelope in the declaration envelope;

             (d)  complete and sign the declaration;

             (e)  place the sealed declaration envelope in the return envelope; and

             (f)  seal the return envelope.

             (4)  The return envelope, when sealed, shall be forwarded to the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer so that it reaches the office before a time on a day prior to polling day to be determined by the Chief Electoral Officer.

             (5)  A special ballot kit shall be distributed to an elector by an election official only.

             (6)  A special ballot kit shall be returned to the Chief Electoral Officer by the elector or an election official only.

             (7)  Where a voter requires assistance in the completion of his or her special ballot, that assistance shall be provided by an election official only.

Appointment of representative

   86.5 (1) The leaders of registered political parties having membership in the House of Assembly at the time the writ is issued shall each designate a representative, to act as scrutineer, who may be present during the verification of the declaration envelopes referred to in subsection 86.6(2) and during each stage of the procedure for the counting of the special ballots.

             (2)  The representatives designated under subsection (1) shall swear an oath or make an affirmation in the prescribed form to keep secret the results of the voting by special ballot.

             (3)  The Chief Electoral Officer may appoint those special ballot officers the Chief Electoral Officer considers necessary to assist the Special Ballot Administrator.

             (4)  The special ballot officers appointed under subsection (3) shall swear an oath or make an affirmation in the prescribed form to keep secret the results of the voting by special ballot.

Counting of ballots

   86.6 (1) Where a return envelope is received in the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer it shall be opened by the Special Ballot Administrator or his or her designate and the declaration envelope shall be removed from the return envelope and deposited in a sealed ballot box for the respective electoral district.

             (2)  Notwithstanding section 216, at a time and on a day before polling day to be determined by the Chief Electoral Officer, the declaration envelopes shall be removed from the ballot box by the Special Ballot Administrator or a special ballot officer in the presence of the persons designated under section 86.5 or, where they are not available, in the presence of 2 other witnesses.

             (3)  The Special Ballot Administrator or a special ballot officer shall examine the declaration envelope and determine

             (a)  whether the name on the declaration envelope is the same as that crossed out on the list of electors under section 86.3; and

             (b)  that the declaration has been completed and properly signed.

             (4)  Where the Special Ballot Administrator or a special ballot officer confirms that the declaration has been properly completed and the elector has signed the declaration envelope he or she shall

             (a)  open the declaration envelope and remove the sealed ballot envelope; and

             (b)  place the sealed ballot envelope in a sealed ballot box for the appropriate electoral district, marked "Special Ballot".

             (5)  Where the Special Ballot Administrator or a special ballot officer determines that a declaration has not been completed or the elector has failed to sign the declaration envelope, he or she shall

             (a)  write "rejected" on the envelope and the reason for its rejection; and

             (b)  set aside the envelope unopened.

             (6)  Notwithstanding section 216, on the day referred to in subsection (2) or at a time on another day before polling day to be determined by the Chief Electoral Officer, the Special Ballot Administrator or a special ballot officer, in the presence of the persons designated under section 86.5 to act as scrutineers, or 2 other witnesses, where the scrutineers are not available, shall open the ballot boxes, open the sealed ballot envelopes and proceed to count the votes.

             (7)  The counting of the votes shall continue without interruption until completed.

             (8)  A ballot that

             (a)  is not marked in favour of a candidate or a candidate and a political party;

             (b)  is marked in favour of more than one candidate or more than one candidate and political party;

             (c)  is marked in favour of a candidate and a political party which are not affiliated with each other; or

             (d)  is marked in a way that identifies the elector,

shall be rejected.

             (9)  A ballot shall not be rejected for the sole reason that the elector has incorrectly written the name of a candidate or political party, if the ballot clearly indicates the elector's intent.

Transmittal of results

   86.7 After the close of polls on polling day, the Chief Electoral Officer or the Special Ballot Administrator shall communicate the results of the voting to the appropriate returning officers who shall include them in the vote totals of the candidates for whom they were cast.

Name of electors

   86.8 The Chief Electoral Officer or the Special Ballot Administrator shall, on request, make available to a candidate in an electoral district or his or her official agent the names and addresses of the ordinary residences of those electors in the electoral district who have applied for and been provided with a special ballot kit.

Administrative procedures

   86.9 The Chief Electoral Officer may establish those administrative procedures he or she considers necessary to give effect to sections 86 to 86.8.

Special ballots

86.10 The provisions of Division E relating to ordinary polls shall apply, with the necessary changes, to special ballots.

 

        4. Subsection 226.1(1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Campaign advertising

226.1 (1)  A registered party or candidate, and a person, corporation or trade union acting with its or his or her knowledge and consent shall not, on polling day or the day before polling day,

             (a)  advertise on the facilities of a broadcasting undertaking; or

             (b)  procure for publication, publish or consent to the publication of, except during that period, an advertisement in a newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication,

for the purpose of promoting or opposing a political party or the election of a candidate.

 

        5. Paragraph 226.2(1)(a) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Rates for advertising

226.2 (1) A person, corporation or trade union shall not

             (a)  charge a registered party or candidate, or a person acting with its or his or her knowledge and consent, a rate for broadcasting time on a broadcasting undertaking, during the period after the issue of a writ for an election and ending the day immediately preceding the day before polling day, that exceeds the lowest rate charged by him or her or it for an equal amount of equivalent time on the same facilities made available to another person in that period; or