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Understanding voting

Partisan publicity and persons allowed on polling station premises

Summary

Polling locations must be neutral and impartial. You should not be pressured or influenced when you go there to vote.

The Election Act regulates the presence of certain persons and partisan publicity on the premises of a polling station. Voters should not be pressured or influenced when they go to vote.

In this section

The premises of a polling station include the polling location, i.e., the building where the polling station is located, and any neighbouring sites from which electors might see a sign or partisan publicity.

Candidates

  • A candidate can appear at a polling location to exercise their right to vote.
  • A candidate can attend all voting activities or appoint a representative (with a proxy) to do so.
  • A candidate cannot greet voters, approach them, shake their hand, or state their name or the party for which they are running on polling station premises.
  • A candidate cannot go to a polling station while an elector is voting.
  • A candidate cannot encourage electors to vote for them on polling station premises.

Partisan publicity

On the premises of a polling station, no person shall use any sign that identifies his or her political affiliation or that expresses support for or opposition to a party or candidate. Partisan publicity is also prohibited.

Partisan publicity can take many forms. It may be on a computerized, audiovisual or material medium (pin, emblem, banner, label, ribbon, flag, pamphlet, card, poster, etc.). It can even come from interpersonal interactions: no one can hand out flyers or cards, put up a poster, display a banner or badge, etc.

Mandataries of a candidate

On polling day, a candidate’s mandataries will not be admitted to a polling location.

Press agents

Press agents are not permitted to take pictures of their candidate while voting.

Media

Inside the polling location

Authorized persons (journalists, news networks, etc.) can:

  • Shoot in silent mode
  • Film a candidate voting
  • Film or take photos (long shots) of electors waiting to vote or actually voting

They cannot:

  • Film or take photos of one elector voting
  • Turn the camera on a specific elector without having obtained their consent
  • Ask electors for whom they voted

Outside the polling location

Authorized persons (journalists, news networks, etc.) can:

  • Film or take photos of electors entering and leaving the polling location
  • Record coverage and broadcast live

They cannot:

  • Request interviews with voters
  • Ask electors for whom they voted (even off camera)
  • Record an interview with a candidate or a person associated with a political party

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