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Municipal by-elections on October 4, 2020

4 September 2020

Categories: By-election, Municipal

The lifting of the suspension of municipal by-elections was announced on August 7. Today, several municipalities enter an election period in order to fill one or more seats on their respective municipal councils. If there is more than one candidate for any one of these seats, a by-election will be held on October 4 in the relevant municipalities.

Health measures to protect the health of electors and election officers

In response to the current pandemic, health measures and guidelines will be enforced to protect the health of electors. Accordingly, Élections Québec and the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation, which is responsible for the general implementation of the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities, have collaborated with the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux to develop a Health protocol to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 during all municipal elections.

The health guidelines that will be implemented include the following:

  • the installation of multiple hand sanitizer stations, the use of which will be mandatory;
  • the enforcement of measures to prevent crowding at polling places;
  • the frequent disinfection of surfaces used during polling.

The protocol also aims to provide safe working conditions for election officers. Élections Québec will ensure that returning officers are aware of all such guidelines, since the health of these workers, whose contributions are essential to municipal democracy, is a priority for the institution.

For more information on health guidelines and voting in municipal by-elections during the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the page titled Questions and answers concerning the municipalities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 and political financing: Élections Québec is adapting associated measures in response to the pandemic

Élections Québec is responsible for implementing the provisions of the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities with regard to the rules governing political financing and the control of election expenses.

In light of the pandemic, the Health protocol to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 during all municipal elections developed with the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux also covers political financing. In particular, we have reviewed our procedures and forms in order to allow more services to be offered remotely. In addition, specific guidelines have been established for situations where face-to-face interactions may occur, such as in the course of soliciting and collecting political contributions. For more information on these measures, please see the section titled health guidelines governing political financing (in French only).

It is also important for candidates to ensure compliance with the health directives and guidelines issued by the Direction de la Santé publique during both the nomination process and activities related to their election campaign, in order to protect their health and that of Québec electors.

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