Press release No. 7 – By-elections of June 11, 2012 - Electors from Argenteuil and LaFontaine who are absent from their domicile can vote outside their electoral division

May 25, 2012

Quebec City, May 24, 2012– Looking ahead to the by-elections of June 11, 2012in the electoral divisions of Argenteuiland LaFontaine, the Chief Electoral Officer, Jacques Drouin, wishes to inform electors of certain changes to the Election Act.  As a result of these new provisions, workers, students, persons receiving health care in facilities or centres, or those having left their domicile for reasons of safety will no longer be able to register on the list of electors of their temporary place of residence, as was allowed under former section 3 of the Election Act. Moreover, for the first time, they may vote for a candidate from their home electoral division, while temporarily residing in another. For example, a student whose domicile is in Lachute, in the electoral division of Argenteuil, who is studying at Cégep Marie-Victorin, in the electoral division of LaFontaine, could exercise his or her right to vote in Argenteuil at the office of the returning officer for LaFontaine.

It should, however, be noted that under this new way of voting, 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. It should also be recalled that in order to vote outside their electoral division, potential voters must be registered on the list of electors of their home electoral division.

“Access to voting has continually improved since 2006, Mr. Drouin pointed out, and with voting outside an electoral division, we’ve crossed a whole new threshold.” As we are well aware, 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. “In the particular case of domiciliary voting, a caregiver will, from now on, be able to apply to exercise the right to vote at the same time as the person who is unable to move about to do so,” the Chief Electoral Officer indicated as well.

Voting at the office of the returning officer and at residential facilities

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 their permanent place of residence. 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.

Electors wishing to vote at the office of the returning officer may do so at their convenience whenever the office is open for business. Electors intending to vote outside their electoral division at a long-term care centre or residential facility must first file a request by telephone or in writing, before May 29, 2012, with the returning officer of the electoral division where they are located.


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Categories : Provincial, By-elections

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