Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Response from Elections Canada

UPDATE:     Here's the response received today to my request sent to Elections Canada re altering the ballot.  Looks like I will have to write to the "Minister for Democratic Reform" with a copy to my Member of Parliament (James Moore).  

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File 395720

We thank you for your e-mail dated January 10, 2014.

There is no procedure for a protest vote at a federal election. Even if an elector wishes to use the ballot as a form of protest, the regular voting procedure applies; the voter places his or her ballot in the ballot box. The ballot is then counted and reported as a rejected ballot. Please also note that it is an offence under section 167 of the Act to destroy a ballot or to take a ballot out of the polling station.

Subsection 284(1) of the Canada Elections Act defines rejected ballots as:

284. (1) In examining the ballots, the deputy returning officer shall reject one
(a) that has not been supplied by him or her;
(b) that has not been marked in a circle at the right of the candidates' names;
(c) that is void by virtue of section 76; (d) that has been marked in more than one circle at the right of the candidates' names; or
(e) on which there is any writing or mark by which the elector could be identified.

Section 76 states:

76. Any votes given for a person other than a candidate are void.

We invite you to visit our Web site (www.elections.ca) to access the full text of the Canada Elections Act.  For ease of access please use the following link:

We suggest scrolling down to Part 12 Counting Votes as it pertains to your question.

If you wish to submit a proposal for amending the Canada Elections Act, may we suggest you write to your Member of Parliament or the Minister of State for Democratic Reform, the Honorable Pierre Poilièvre (each of whose contact information can be found on the parliamentary web site)

For more information about the Canadian federal electoral system, please visit our website or call 1 800 463‑6868, toll‑free in Canada and the United States. Our hours of operation are from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

(Name)
Public Enquiries Unit

Elections Canada

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