Municipal Mail in Ballots
-with thanks to Sara Ribeiro at Central Saanich Municipal Hall
In July, a report was presented to Central Saanich Council with an accompanying Election Procedures Bylaw to incorporate mail-in ballot voting and mobile voting for the 2008 local government election. Below is an excerpt from that Bylaw pertaining to mail-in ballot voting for your information. Please note S. 16 which stipulates who may participate in the mail-in ballot voting opportunity.
PART 3 – MAIL BALLOT VOTING
16 An elector who:
(1) has a physical disability, illness, or injury that affects his or her ability to vote at another voting opportunity, or
(2) expects to be absent from the District on general voting day and at the times of all advance voting opportunities may vote by mail ballot.
17 A person wishing to vote by mail ballot may apply in writing by providing their name and address to the Chief Election Officer, during the period commencing seven (7) days before the first day of advance voting and ending at 4:00 p.m. on the date two (2) days before general voting day.
18 Upon receipt of a request for a mail ballot, the Chief Election Officer shall, between the first day of advanced voting and 4:00 p.m. on the date two (2) days before general voting day:
(1) make available to the applicant by mail or in person, a mail ballot package containing the ballots, forms, envelopes and other documents required under the Local Government Act ; and,
(2) immediately record and, upon request, make available for inspection the name and address of the person to whom the mail ballot package was issued; and,
19 In order to be counted for an election, an elector’s mail ballot must be mailed or delivered to the Chief Election Officer at the address specified on the outer envelope provided in the mail ballot package so that it is received no later than the close of voting on general voting day.
Ballot acceptance or rejection
20 Upon receipt of mail ballot packages before the close of voting on the general voting day, the Chief Election Officer shall record the time and date of its receipt and shall examine the certification envelope.
21 If the Chief Election Officer is satisfied as to:
(1) the identity and entitlement to vote of the elector whose ballot is enclosed; and
(2) the completeness of the certification, the Chief Election Officer shall mark the certification envelope as “accepted” and shall mark the voting book to indicate that the elector has voted.
22 The unopened certification envelopes marked as “accepted” shall remain in the custody of the Chief Election Officer until the close of voting on general voting day, at which time the Chief Election Officer shall, in the presence of at least one other election official, in addition to any scrutineers present:
(1) open the certification envelopes;
(2) place the unopened secrecy envelopes together into a ballot box;
(3) open the secrecy envelopes and remove the ballots within; and
(4) insert the ballots into the vote counting unit.
23 The Chief Election Officer shall retain all certification envelopes together with the voting books and for the purposes of document retention and destruction shall treat the certification envelopes in the same manner as a voting book.
(1) upon review of an outer envelope, the Chief Election Officer is not satisfied as to the identity of the elector whose ballot is enclosed or the completeness of the certification; or
(3) the outer envelope is received by the Chief Election Officer after the close of voting on general voting day, the certification envelope shall remain unopened and the Chief Election Officer shall mark such envelope as “rejected” and shall note the reasons for the rejection..
25 Any certification envelopes and their contents rejected in accordance with Section 24 of this Bylaw shall remain unopened and shall not be counted in the election.
Challenge of elector
26 Between the time an elector requests a mail ballot package and the time that the mail ballot package is hand delivered or mailed to the elector requesting it, the elector’s right to vote may be challenged under section 116 of the Local Government Act.
Replacement of spoiled ballot
27 Where an elector unintentionally spoils a mail ballot before returning it to the Chief Election Officer, the elector may request a replacement ballot by advising the Chief Election Officer of the ballot spoilage and by mailing or otherwise delivering by any appropriate means, the spoiled ballot package in its entirety to the Chief Election Officer.
28 The Chief Election Officer shall, upon receipt of the spoiled ballot package, record such fact and issue a new mail ballot package to the elector.
For more info call Central Saanich Municipal hall at 652-4444 or check out the website: