Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
June 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Election Laws of Canada


[This article was published in 1948; for the precise citation, see the end of the document.]

Election Laws. By the Dominion Elections Act (Revised Statutes of Canada, 1927, cap. 53) detailed provision is made for the organization of electoral machinery and for the procedure to be utilized in elections to the Canadian House of Commons. The Act provides for the appointment by the Governor-in-Council of the chief electoral officer, the assistant chief electoral officer, and a returning officer in each constituency. The returning officer is in turn required to appoint one election clerk and, in each polling division, a deputy returning officer. Each voter must be a British subject by birth or naturalization, 21 years of age, and must have resided in Canada for at least 12 months and, in the electoral district wherein he seeks to vote, for at least two months immediately preceding the issue of the writ of election. Except for those disqualified in the Act, any British subject, male or female, of 21 years of age, may be a candidate at a Dominion election. Those convicted of corrupt electoral practices, government contractors, members of the legislature of any province, and certain public officers are disqualified. Each candidate is required to make a deposit of $200, which is returned upon his election, or if he obtains at least half the number of votes polled for the successful candidate. Nomination day and the day for polling are fixed by the Governor-in-Council. Voting is by ballot. Candidates and their agents, not exceeding two in number for each candidate in each polling station and, in the absence of agents, two electors to represent each candidate, are permitted to remain in the room where the votes are given. The votes are to be counted by the deputy returning officer in each polling station in full view of the poll clerk, of the candidate, and of their agents, or of such of them as are present, and of at least three electors. Provision is made for a recount in any constituency where, within four days after a candidate has been declared elected, application is made on the ground that any deputy returning officer has made an incorrect return. Upon receiving the return of any member elected, the chief electoral officer is required to give notice in the Canada Gazette. Bribery, undue influence, and personation are defined in the Act, and penalties and procedure in the case of these offences are stated. No spirituous or fermented liquors or strong drinks are to be sold or given at any hotel, tavern, or shop or any other place within the limits of any polling station during the whole of the polling day at an, election. In addition to the Dominion Elections Act, chapter 51 of the Revised Statutes, 1927, provides for the inquiry as to corrupt practices at elections of members of the House of Commons. Chapter 52 provides that a voter convicted of bribery shall be unable to vote at an election to the House of Commons for 7 years after the date of the receipt by the secretary of state of the report in reference to his conviction.

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 284-285.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College