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Copyright 2000: Queens Printer,
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER S-5

AN ACT RESPECTING ELECTIONS TO THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ST. JOHN'S

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Interpretation

3. Elective offices

4. Wards

5. Candidates qualifications

6. By-election provisions for election

7. Term of office

8. Polling day

9. Special election

10. Returning officer

11. Deputies, poll clerks appointed

12. Polling divisions

13. Qualifications of elector

14. Electors enumerated

15. Enumerators appointed

16. Duties of enumerator

17. List of electors

18. List to be posted

19. List may be amended

20. City clerk to certify list

21. Nomination days

22. Hours nomination received

23. Publication of time and place of nomination

24. Elected persons must be nominated

25. Form of nomination

26. City clerk keeps nomination papers

27. Publication of candidates

28. Nominated persons elected

29. Election declared

30. Publication that nominated persons elected or election declarations

31. Advanced polls

32. Notice of advance poll published

33. Administration of advance poll

34. Elector at advance poll

35. Electors recorded

36. Polling booths

37. Set-up of polling booth

38. Time of voting

39. Number of votes

40. Separate ballot papers

41. Complaint

42. Results of voting

43. Municipalities Act applies

44. Regulations

Schedule


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Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the St. John's Municipal Elections Act.

1977 c93 s1

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Interpretation

2. (1) In this Act

(a) "city" means the City of St. John's as incorporated by the City of St. John's Act;

(b) "council" means the St. John's Municipal Council as defined by the City of St. John's Act;

(c) "elector" means a person described in section 13 and otherwise qualified under this Act to vote in an election;

(d) "minister" means the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs; and

(e) "ordinarily resident" means ordinarily resident as determined in accordance with the rules set out in Part V of the Municipalities Act.

(2) Where in the opinion of the minister, the area of the city is likely to be larger on polling day than it is when the city clerk conducts an enumeration of electors, the words "the city" shall be construed to mean that larger area for the purpose of preparing the list of electors or determining the qualifications of candidates or electors.

(3) Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to permit a person who on polling day is not ordinarily resident within the boundaries of the city on that day

(a) to be an elector; or

(b) to be a candidate.

1977 c93 s2; 1979 c33 Sch C; 1981 c4 Sch D;
1981 c49 s1; 1989 c30 Sch B

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Elective offices

3. The mayor and councillors shall be elected by the vote of the electors of the city.

1977 c93 s3

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Wards

4. (1) Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the council may by by-law carried by a 2/3 vote of the council, divide the city into 2 or more wards, define the boundaries of those wards and fix the number of councillors to be elected for each ward.

(2) Subject to section 5 of the City of St. John's Act, where the council fixes a number of councillors to be elected for each ward, the council may also fix a number of councillors to be elected at large.

1981 c49 s2

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Candidates qualifications

5. (1) A person ordinarily resident in the city for 12 months immediately preceding nomination days is eligible to be a candidate for office of mayor or councillor, if that person is

(a) nominated by 2 electors;

(b) eligible to vote as an elector in the election for which he or she is nominated; and

(c) liable to taxation under the City of St. John's Act or the St. John's Assessment Act and not indebted to council for arrears of taxes for a period before January 1 in the year in which the election is required, or is the spouse of a person who is liable and not indebted.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(c), a person otherwise eligible under subsection (1) may be a candidate for office of mayor or councillor if, at the time of nomination and election, he or she would have been eligible to be a candidate in a municipal election in the area in which he or she is ordinarily resident if that area had not been annexed to the city.

1977 c93 s4; 1981 c49 ss3&4

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By-election provisions for election

6. The provisions of this Act respecting a general election apply to every by-election, and if the provisions cannot in the circumstances be applied to a by-election the minister may make orders governing the time, conduct and procedure relating to the by-election.

1977 c93 s5

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Term of office

7. (1) A general election is to be held every 4 years.

(2) All terms of office for candidates elected in a general election begin on December 1 in the year in which the election is held.

1977 c93 s6

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Polling day

8. (1) Where a vote is required to elect the mayor and councillors, polling day for a general election is the 2nd Tuesday of November in the year in which a general election is required to be held.

(2) When the Tuesday referred to in subsection (1) is a holiday, polling day is on the 1st Wednesday following that Tuesday.

1977 c93 s7; 1985 c14 s1

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Special election

9. (1) Notwithstanding sections 7 and 8, the minister may, by order, defer the holding of a general election for the city for a period not exceeding 1 year in total and the date of the general election shall be set out in the order.

(2) A general election held under subsection (1) is to be held in the same manner as other general elections held under this Act.

(3) Where a general election is ordered to be held under subsection (1) the mayor and councillors affected by that order continue to hold office until the mayor and councillors elected to succeed them are sworn or affirmed into office.

(4) The terms of office for candidates elected in a general election by an order made under this section begin 14 days after the general election.

1989 c14 s1

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Returning officer

10. In elections under this Act, unless the council otherwise provides by resolution, the city clerk is the returning officer.

1977 c93 s8

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Deputies, poll clerks appointed

11. (1) The returning officer shall appoint deputies, poll clerks and other persons that may be required for an election.

(2) A person is not eligible to accept an appointment referred to in subsection (1) if he or she

(a) is mayor or councillor in the city;

(b) has been found guilty by a court of an offence under this Act;

(c) is nominated as candidate in the election in relation to which he or she is appointed; or

(d) is not eligible to vote as an elector.

1977 c93 s9

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Polling divisions

12. The council may divide the city into polling divisions and may alter the boundaries of a polling division.

1977 c93 s10

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Qualifications of elector

13. (1) Every Canadian citizen who is 18 years of age or older is qualified to vote at an election if he or she has been ordinarily resident for 30 days immediately preceding election day in the city.

(2) The returning officer, except where there is an equality of votes, is disqualified from voting in an election.

(3) An elector may not vote in an election unless

(a) his or her name is on the list of electors for that election; or

(b) he or she presents his or her declaration in Form C of the Schedule signed on polling day by the returning officer or deputy returning officer.

1977 c93 s11; 1981 c49 s5; 1985 c14 s2;
1986 c42 Sch B; 1989 c12 s29; 1990 c62 s22

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Electors enumerated

14. The city clerk shall, in each year in which a vote for a general election is required

(a) conduct an enumeration of electors in the city; and

(b) prepare before October 1, a list of those electors.

1977 c93 s12

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Enumerators appointed

15. (1) The council may prescribe regulations and forms governing the enumeration of the electors but unless otherwise provided the city clerk shall appoint those enumerators that he or she considers necessary to complete an enumeration of electors living in each polling division in which a vote for an election is required.

(2) An enumerator appointed under this section, before acting as enumerator, shall take the oath or affirmation of office in Form A of the Schedule and the oath or affirmation may be sworn or taken before a justice of the peace, a commissioner for oaths or city clerk, and the city clerk shall retain the oaths or affirmations as part of the records of his or her office.

(3) Where an enumerator is unable to fulfil his or her duties or is found to be incapable, the city clerk shall cancel the appointment of the enumerator and appoint another enumerator in his or her place.

1977 c93 s13

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Duties of enumerator

16. (1) An enumerator shall visit each place of residence in the area assigned to him or her and may record the name and address of each person living in that area

(a) who is a Canadian citizen 18 years of age or over;

(b) who is ordinarily resident in the city; and

(c) who is not a person referred to in subsection 13(2).

(2) An enumerator, on completion of his or her duties shall give to the city clerk a list of the names of all persons enumerated by him or her.

1977 c93 s14; 1985 c14 s3

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List of electors

17. (1) Not later than 3 weeks before polling day the city clerk shall have prepared a list of electors upon which shall be placed the names of the persons eligible to vote and enumerated in accordance with section 16.

(2) The names shall be entered on the list of electors and arranged according to the polling division in which that person is ordinarily resident.

1985 c14 s4

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List to be posted

18. Three weeks before polling day the city clerk shall post up in his or her office 1 copy of the list of electors, and shall publish, in a newspaper circulating in the city, a notice stating that the list of electors has been prepared and posted for inspection in the office of the city clerk and the time within which application for amendment to the list may be received.

1977 c93 s16

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List may be amended

19. (1) A person who is otherwise qualified to vote but whose name does not appear on the list referred to in section 18 may, during office hours of a day up to and including the day before polling day, apply to the city clerk to have his or her name added to the list.

(2) The application referred to in subsection (1) shall be made personally and shall be in the form of a declaration setting out the qualifications of the person applying.

(3) The city clerk shall receive all applications properly made under this section and may require the applicant to provide satisfactory proof in order to verify the qualifications of the applicant and the city clerk may take the affidavits which he or she considers necessary.

(4) Where the city clerk is satisfied that the applicant is qualified to have his or her name added to the list of electors he or she shall add the name to the list in the proper polling division and shall notify the applicant of the addition and give to the applicant a certificate signed by the city clerk that indicates the name of the applicant is on the list of electors.

1977 c93 s17

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City clerk to certify list

20. (1) The city clerk shall certify the list of electors over his or her signature and the corporate seal of the city on or before polling day and that list shall constitute the list of electors for the 1st following general election and by-elections held before the 2nd following general election.

(2) The city clerk shall send a copy of the list of electors to the Minister of Justice.

1977 c93 s18

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Nomination days

21. Nomination days for a general election are those days from and including the 28th day to and including the 21st day before polling day excluding Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

1985 c14 s5

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Hours nomination received

22. The returning officer shall receive nominations at City Hall in the city between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on nomination days.

1977 c93 s23; 1985 c14 s6

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Publication of time and place of nomination

23. The returning officer shall, once a week for the 2 weeks before nomination days, publish in a newspaper circulating in the city a notice of the time and place of the nomination.

1977 c93 s24

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Elected persons must be nominated

24. Only persons nominated for an office may hold that office and candidates shall deliver their nomination to the returning officer during the period described in section 22.

1977 c93 s25

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Form of nomination

25. (1) A nomination of a candidate for an elective office

(a) shall be in writing signed by at least 2 electors; and

(b) shall be accompanied by

(i) a written acceptance signed by that person nominated stating the name, residence and occupation of the nominee,

(ii) a declaration in Form B of the Schedule,

(iii) a certificate of the city clerk that indicates the candidate or the spouse of the candidate is liable to taxation under the City of St. John's Act or the St. John's Assessment Act and is not indebted to council for arrears of taxes for a period before January 1 in the year in which the election is held, and

(iv) a deposit of $50 either in cash or by certified cheque payable to the council.

(2) The returning officer shall return to a candidate who made a deposit in accordance with paragraph (1)(iv) and who in the election was elected or who

(a) in the case of a candidate for office of councillor, received a number of votes at least equal to 1/2 of the total number of votes polled for the candidate elected with the lowest number of votes; and

(b) in the case of a candidate for office of mayor, received a number of votes at least equal to 1/2 of the total number of votes polled for the candidate elected as mayor.

(3) Where a candidate does not obtain the number of votes stipulated in subsection (2), the deposit shall be paid to the council and applied towards the expenses of the election.

(4) In stating a nominee's name in a nomination paper,

(a) any but 1 of the nominee's given names may be omitted and his or her given names may be indicated by initial only; and

(b) a name by which the nominee is commonly or familiarly known may be shown in parenthesis along with his or her given names.

1977 c93 s26; 1981 c49 ss4&7

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City clerk keeps nomination papers

26. The returning officer immediately after the last nomination day shall, if he or she is not the city clerk, give to the city clerk nomination papers submitted under section 22.

1977 c93 s27

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Publication of candidates

27. The returning officer shall within 2 days after the last nomination day publish in a newspaper circulating in the city the names of the candidates.

1977 c93 s28

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Nominated persons elected

28. Where the number of persons nominated for office is equal to or does not exceed the number required to be elected, the returning officer shall at 9 a.m. of the 1st day after nomination days declare elected, those persons to the office for which they are nominated.

1977 c93 s29

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Election declared

29. Where more than the required number of persons are nominated for an office, the returning officer shall declare that a general election shall be held as provided for in section 8.

1977 c93 s30

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Publication that nominated persons elected or election declarations

30. The returning officer shall publish in a newspaper circulating in the city declarations made in accordance with section 28 or 29 within 2 days of the making of those declarations.

1977 c93 s31

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Advanced polls

31. The council may hold an advance poll on the 7th day immediately preceding the day established as polling day.

1977 c93 s32

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Notice of advance poll published

32. The returning officer shall give notice of the time and place of the advance poll by publishing at least once, in each of the 2 weeks preceding the advance poll in a newspaper circulating in the city, the time and place of the advance poll.

1977 c93 s33

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Administration of advance poll

33. 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 locked at the opening of the 1st day of the advance poll, it shall remain locked at all times until opened for the counting of ballots after the close of the polls on polling day.

1977 c93 s34

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Elector at advance poll

34. (1) Electors who have reason to believe they will be absent from the city during the whole time fixed for the election may vote at an advance poll.

(2) An elector at an advance poll shall declare an oath or affirmation in a form that may be required.

1977 c93 s35

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Electors recorded

35. At an advance poll the poll clerk shall record in the poll book the names of the electors who vote and the number of the polling divisions in which the elector lives or in which the property in relation to the elector is located.

1977 c93 s36

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Polling booths

36. (1) The returning officer may designate the locations at which polling booths shall be opened when a vote is required, and there shall be at least 1 polling booth in each polling division.

(2) The returning officer shall before polling day publish a list of the polling divisions, the numbers of the polling divisions and the places in the polling divisions where the polling booths are located and the number of the polling booth which the returning officer shall assign to it.

(3) The returning officer shall mark each polling booth with the number of the polling division to which it relates, and the number of the polling booth.

1977 c93 s37

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Set-up of polling booth

37. (1) The returning officer shall ensure that each polling booth is provided with 1 or more compartments so arranged that an elector is screened from observation and may mark his or her ballot paper without interference.

(2) The returning officer shall ensure that in each compartment an elector may mark a ballot on a table, desk or shelf with a hard surface and that there is available to the elector a black lead pencil with which he or she may mark his or her ballot.

1977 c93 s38

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Time of voting

38. Polling booths shall be kept open on polling day from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

1977 c93 s39; 1985 c14 s7

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Number of votes

39. An elector may vote once only for office of mayor and for the number of councillors that he or she chooses, not exceeding the number of councillors under section 5 of the City of St. John's Act and may vote only in an advance poll or in the polling division for which his or her name is entered on the list of electors.

1977 c93 s40; 1981 c49 s8

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Separate ballot papers

40. The name of the candidates for mayor shall be on a different ballot paper from the names of candidates for councillors but both ballot papers shall be in a form which the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may prescribe.

1977 c93 s41

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Complaint

41. The returning officer or deputy returning officer may require an elector, as a result of a written complaint signed by a candidate, to declare an oath or affirmation in a form that may be required and an elector who refuses to comply with the requirement shall not vote in that election.

1977 c93 s42

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Results of voting

42. A deputy returning officer may, during the counting of ballots, report to the returning officer the results of the votes then counted and the returning officer may then announce those results.

1977 c93 s43

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Municipalities Act applies

43. Sections 553 to 633 of Part V of the Municipalities Act apply, with the necessary changes to elections held under this Act.

1979 c33 Sch C

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Regulations

44. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations to give effect to the purpose of this Act.

1977 c93 s46

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Schedule

FORM A

I, , appointed enumerator for the City of St. John's, swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will act faithfully in my capacity as enumerator, without partiality, fear, favour or affection and according to the law.

 

FORM B

Declaration of Qualification of Candidate

I, , a candidate for the office of in the City of St. John's declare that

1. I am a Canadian citizen of at least 18 years of age.

2. I have been ordinarily resident in the city for at least 12 months immediately preceding polling day.

3. I am (or my spouse is) liable for taxation under the City of St. John's Act or the St. John's Assessment Act.

4. I am (or my spouse is) not indebted to council for arrears of taxes for a period before January 1 in this year in which the election is required.

AND I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing it to be true and knowing that it is of the same effect as if made under oath or affirmation and by virtue of the Canada Evidence Act.

DECLARED before me at )

)

this day of 19 )

)

.................................................... ....................................................
Returning Officer Candidate

 

FORM C

Declaration of Qualification of Elector

I, , an elector in the City of St. John's declare that

1. I am a Canadian citizen of at least 18 years of age.

2. I have been ordinarily resident in the city for at least 12 months immediately preceding the enumeration of electors in the City of St. John's on the day of , 19

OR

I am the owner, lessor, lessee or tenant of property in the City of St. John's that is subject to taxation by the city and is listed in the appraisement books of the city.

3. I have not already voted in this election.

AND I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing it to be true and knowing that it is of the same effect as if made under oath or affirmation and by virtue of the Canada Evidence Act (Canada).

DECLARED before me at )

)

this day of 19 )

)

Returning Officer or .............................................
Elector
Deputy Returning Officer

1977 c93 Sch A; 1981 c49 ss4&9; 1986 c42 Sch B

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