Quebec City, August 22, 2012 – Looking ahead to the September 4 Québec general election, the Chief Electoral Officer, Jacques Drouin, wishes to remind electors that they will be able to take advantage of a new measure, namely voting outside their electoral division. For the first time, it will be possible for them to exercise their right to vote no matter where they temporarily are in Québec, if they foresee being absent from their domicile on the days set aside for voting. It should, however, be noted that under this new voting system, electors in transit, i.e. those passing through one of the two electoral divisions, will not be allowed to exercise their right to vote if they return home to sleep at the end of the day. This new possibility is replacing the option formerly available to workers and students to register on the list of electors for their temporary place of residence, in accordance with former section 3 of the Election Act.
“Access to voting has continually improved since 2006,” Mr. Drouin points out, “and with voting outside an electoral division, we’ve crossed a whole new threshold.” We now know that the right to vote may be exercised five days longer than the period covered by regular and advance polling. And in certain cases electoral personnel will move about so as to enable electors in long-term care centres, residential facilities, and even private homes to vote.
Voting at the office of the returning officer
Voting outside an electoral division will be carried out at an office of the returning officer. The new method of voting will also be accessible to those temporarily lodged in long-term care centres and residential facilities. In a statement, electors availing themselves of the new measure will, first of all, confirm that they have not yet voted and will be unable to vote at the location of their permanent domicile. They will then be given a list of the candidates from their home electoral division and a blank ballot on which to indicate the first and last names of the person for whom they wish to vote, as well as the name of the candidate’s political party, if they would like to specify it. The ballot paper will be inserted in an envelope that is then to be sealed and placed in a ballot box set aside for this purpose. The votes will be counted and compiled at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer in Quebec Cityand the results transmitted to the various electoral divisions on the evening of polling day.
Electors wishing to vote at the office of the returning officer may do so by coming to the office without appointment at a time convenient to them, on August 24, 25, 28, 29 and 30 up until 2:00 PM. The address of the returning officer’s office can be found on the Chief Electoral Officer’s web site at http://monvote.qc.ca/fr/doc_carte.asp or by contacting the Information Centre:
418-528-0422 –Quebec Cityregion or
1-888-ELECTION (1-888-353-2846) – elsewhere
418-646-0644 or 1-800-537-0644 – TDD
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