Bureau du président d’élection (Service du greffe)

A citizen who recently moved in a seniors long-term care home wishes to register to mobile polling scheduled at her new residence, for the upcoming 2107 municipal election.

To this end, she sends an application to the Election President (who is the City Clerk). Unfortunately, due to an error by Canada Post (returned mail), the Clerk’s office never receives her application.

The citizen’s daughter calls upon the Chief Electoral Officer (Directeur général des élections du Québec (DGEQ)) and the Service du greffe de Montréal. She is told that since the legal deadline has expired, it is no longer possible to add her mother’s name to the mobile polling.

One week before voting day, she seeks the OdM intervention. Her mother insists on exercising her right to vote and her physical condition prevents her from reaching her regular polling station. We begin our negotiations.

The Service du greffe reiterates that the law is strict: there is no way that this lady can register for mobile polling. If the citizen wishes to vote, she will have to show up on voting day at the regular polling station where she is registered (her previous address). If required, accommodations could be put in place to facilitate her access to that polling station.

Considering her condition, travelling on voting day for this citizen is not an option. Hence, our office pursues its negotiations in order to find a solution.

The OdM examines the Act Respecting Elections and Referendums in Municipalities and finds the following provision:

Article 90.5: If, during the election period (…), it comes to the attention of the chief electoral officer that, subsequent to an error, emergency or exceptional circumstance, a provision referred to in section 90.1 does not meet the demands of the resultant situation, the chief electoral officer may adapt the provision in order to achieve its object. ”

In our opinion, the citizen’s situation satisfies this criterion: the strict application of the law does indeed deprive the citizen of her right to vote, which is contrary to the purpose sought by the law.

The OdM engages again with the Service du greffe to discuss ways to apply section 90.5 to this case.

• The Service du greffe deals to that end with the Chief Electoral Officer (Directeur général des élections du Québec (DGEQ)).

• The request is quickly granted by the DGEQ.

The day before voting day, the mobile polling team is dispatched to the citizen’s dwelling so that she can vote on site.

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