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2nd Session, 41st Legislature

This HTML version is provided for ease of use and is based on the bilingual version that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.

Bill 27

THE ELECTIONS AMENDMENT ACT


  Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. E30 amended

1           The Elections Act is amended by this Act.

2           Section 1 is amended

(a) by replacing the definition "election official" with the following:

"election official" means a returning officer, assistant returning officer, senior voting officer, voting officer, assistant voting officer, registration officer or registration agent appointed under this Act. ( « fonctionnaire électoral »)

(b) by adding the following definitions:

"register of voters" or "register" means the register of voters established under section 63.1. (« registre des électeurs » ou « registre »)

"residential address" for a voter in a rural area means the voter's geographic location. (« adresse résidentielle »)

(c) in the definition "voters list", by striking out "for a voting area".

3           Section 2 is replaced with the following:

Establishing identity

2(1)        A person who is required to establish his or her identity under this Act may do so by providing

(a) an official document issued by a federal, provincial or municipal government, or an agency of that government, that contains the person's name and photograph; or

(b) two documents authorized by the chief electoral officer that contain the person's name, one of which must be the voter information card under section 76.1.

Declaration as to address

2(2)        If none of the documents provided under subsection (1) contains the person's current address, the person must make a signed declaration as to his or her current address.

Notice re authorized documents

2(3)        Each year, and within three days after a writ of election is issued, the chief electoral officer must publish a notice setting out the types of documents that are authorized for the purpose of clause (1)(b).

4(1)        Subsection 3(1) is amended by striking out "fax" and substituting "another method acceptable to the chief electoral officer".

4(2)        Subsection 3(2) is repealed.

5           Clause 14(b) is amended by striking out "or enumerator".

6(1)        Subclauses 17(1)(a)(i), (ii) and (iii) are replaced with the following:

(i) until 75 days before election day, for a returning officer, assistant returning officer or registration agent, or

(ii) until the election is called, for a candidate or election volunteer, or for an election official other than a returning officer, assistant returning officer or registration agent; or

6(2)        Subsection 17(3) is replaced with the following:

When leave ends for election officials and volunteers

17(3)       In the case of an election official other than a returning officer or assistant returning officer, or in the case of an election volunteer, a leave ends as follows:

(a) for an election official, when the person's duties under this Act are completed;

(b) for an election volunteer, on election day.

7           Clause 28(1)(b) is amended by striking out "or enumerators".

8           The following is added after section 28:

Modifications to voting process

28.1(1)     Subject to subsection 28(2), the chief electoral officer may, in consultation with the advisory committee established under section 200, direct that the voting process established by this Act be modified in accordance with this section.

Objectives

28.1(2)     The objectives of modifications under this section are

(a) to improve the voting process for voters;

(b) to achieve administrative efficiencies; and

(c) to maintain the integrity of the voting process.

Examples

28.1(3)     Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), examples of modifications the chief electoral officer may direct under this section are as follows:

(a) if one voting place has two or more voting stations, the returning officer may be permitted to assign to one voting officer or assistant voting officer the duties that this Act would otherwise assign to two people;

(b) the use of technology may be permitted to update the voters list during voting on election day or in advance voting or in other voting opportunities under this .

Approval of Standing Committee

28.1(4)     A modification under this section

(a) must be approved by the Standing Committee on Legislative Affairs; and

(b) may not apply to an election that is called within 90 days after that approval.

Reporting

28.1(5)     When modifications have been made under this section, the chief electoral officer must include a report on the modifications in any report the chief electoral officer makes about the conduct of the election or in the next annual report.

9           Section 33 is amended by striking out "or enumerator" in the part before clause (a).

10           Subsection 41(1) is amended by striking out "an eligible voter of the division as".

11          Subsection 42(1) is amended by striking out "an eligible voter of the electoral division as".

12          Section 43 is amended by striking out "an eligible voter of the electoral division as".

13          Subsection 45(1) is amended by striking out "or enumerator".

14          Subsection 46(2) of the English version is amended by striking out "enumerator or".

15          Section 47 is repealed.

16          Section 48 is amended by striking out "or enumerator".

17(1)       Subsection 51(1) is amended

(a) in clause (a) of item 2, by striking out "the Tuesday that is 21 days" and substituting "the Monday that is 22 days"; and

(b) by replacing item 7 with the following:

7.  A map of the voting areas in the electoral division and a list of the voting places located in the division.

17(2)       Subsection 51(2) is amended by striking out everything after "returning office".

18          Clause 53(2)(d) is amended by striking out "or enumerator" and substituting "for that election".

19          Clause 56(1)(a) is replaced with the following:

(a) the Monday that is 22 days before election day, in the case of a fixed date election; or

20          The following is added after section 63:

PART 6.1

REGISTER OF VOTERS

ESTABLISHING THE REGISTER

Register of voters

63.1(1)     The chief electoral officer must establish and maintain a register of voters for Manitoba from which voters lists may be prepared for use at elections under this Act.

Contents of register

63.1(2)     The register of voters may contain the following information about persons ordinarily resident in Manitoba who are eligible voters or may become eligible voters, including 16 and 17 year olds:

(a) surname, first name and any middle name;

(b) residential address, including postal code;

(c) mailing address, including postal code, if the person's mailing address is different from the residential address;

(d) telephone number, if provided;

(e) date of birth;

(f) gender;

(g) the unique identifier assigned under subsection (3);

(h) any other identification number assigned by a person or body who provides information to the chief electoral officer under subsection 63.3(3) or pursuant to an agreement under section 63.7;

(i) other information that the chief electoral officer considers should be included in the register.

Identifier

63.1(3)     The chief electoral officer may assign each voter a unique identifier to assist in distinguishing a voter from another voter or verifying information about a voter.

Information for verifying identity

63.1(4)     A voter's date of birth and gender and any identification number referred to in clause (2)(h) may not be included on any voters list prepared under this Act.

Information about persons who may become voters

63.1(5)     The chief electoral officer may collect personal information referred to in subsection (2) in relation to persons who reside in Manitoba and who may become eligible to vote, including 16 and 17 year olds.

First register

63.1(6)     The final voters list for the 2016 general election is to be considered the register of voters under this Act when this section comes into force, along with the date of birth and gender information obtained from voters during the enumeration for the 2016 general election.

KEEPING THE REGISTER UP TO DATE

Updating the register

63.2        The register of voters may be updated from time to time as the chief electoral officer considers necessary but must be updated as soon as possible

(a) after an election; and

(b) after the Schedule of electoral divisions in The Electoral Divisions Act is replaced.

Sources of information

63.3(1)     The register of voters may be updated by any or all of the following methods:

(a) using information that voters have given to the chief electoral officer;

(b) using information from Elections Canada provided by agreement under section 63.7;

(c) using personal information held by a public body if, in the opinion of the chief electoral officer, the information is necessary for the purpose of updating the register;

(d) conducting targeted registration, in accordance with Division 2 of Part 7, of some or all electoral divisions, or parts of any of them, as determined by the chief electoral officer;

(e) using information-gathering techniques carried out under the chief electoral officer's direction, including mailings and distribution of information, telephone calls, e-mail and personal visits to the homes of persons who may be voters;

(f) using information obtained from any other source the chief electoral officer considers reliable.

Voters may be contacted

63.3(2)     The chief electoral officer may at any time

(a) contact a voter to verify the chief electoral officer's information relating to the voter; and

(b) request the voter to confirm, correct or complete the information by a specified date.

Information from public bodies

63.3(3)     When the chief electoral officer requests personal information from a public body under clause (1)(c), the public body must provide it.

Fees

63.3(4)     A public body providing personal information may charge a reasonable fee for doing so, but the fee may not exceed the actual cost of producing a copy of the information.

Retention of information

63.3(5)     The chief electoral officer may retain any personal information provided by a public body for the purpose of verifying information contained or to be contained in the register of voters.

Definitions

63.3(6)     In this section, "personal information" and "public body" have the same meaning as in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Voter may apply to be registered

63.4(1)     A voter may at any time, except between the close of revision and election day, apply to register as a voter by providing the chief electoral officer with the following:

(a) certification that he or she is an eligible voter, in a form acceptable to the chief electoral officer;

(b) his or her surname, first name and any middle name, residential address, mailing address if different from the residential address, date of birth and gender;

(c) satisfactory proof of identity and residence;

(d) any other information that the chief electoral officer requires to be on the register under clause 63.1(2)(i).

Voter may verify information and provide changes

63.4(2)     A voter or a person acting on the voter's behalf may

(a) verify whether the information about the voter in the register of voters is correct, subject to any requirements set by the chief electoral officer; and

(b) give the chief electoral officer changes to the information in the register of voters relating to the voter.

Removing names

63.5(1)     The chief electoral officer must remove from the register of voters the name of any person who

(a) is not an eligible voter;

(b) is dead; or

(c) requests in writing to have his or her name removed, whether the request is made by the person or by someone acting on the person's behalf.

Removing name of person who does not respond

63.5(2)     The chief electoral officer may also remove from the register the name of any person who fails to comply with a request under clause 63.3(2)(b) by the specified date.

PERSONAL SECURITY PROTECTION

Personal security protection

63.6(1)     A voter may, in writing, request the chief electoral officer to remove from or to not include the voter's information in the register of voters or a voters list in order to protect the voter's personal security.

CEO to protect voter's security

63.6(2)     The chief electoral officer must comply with a voter's request under subsection (1) and may take any steps that he or she considers necessary to protect the voter's security, including adapting the provisions of this Act.

Procedure for voting

63.6(3)     A voter whose security is protected under this section may vote only by homebound voting in accordance with Division 5 of Part 10.

AGREEMENTS ON INFORMATION

Agreement with CEO of Canada

63.7(1)     The chief electoral officer may enter into an agreement with the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

(a) to receive information from the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada to assist in updating the register of voters; and

(b) to provide the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada with information contained in the register of voters for the purpose of maintaining the lists of electors under the Canada Elections Act.

Agreements with provincial bodies

63.7(2)     To assist a body responsible under Manitoba law for establishing a list of voters, the chief electoral officer may enter into an agreement with the body to provide it with information contained in the register of voters.

Conditions

63.7(3)     The chief electoral officer may include in an agreement conditions about the use and protection of personal information provided under the agreement.

VOTER INFORMATION FROM REGISTER SENT TO PARTIES AND MLAS

Voter information from register sent to registered parties and MLAs

63.8(1)     By February 15 in each year, the chief electoral officer must send to each registered political party and, on request, the member for each electoral division, an electronic copy of the voters list for the electoral division taken from the most recently updated version of the register of voters.

Contents

63.8(2)     The voters list is to include only the surname, first name and any middle name of the voter, their residential address and mailing address, telephone number and the unique identifier assigned to the voter by the chief electoral officer. The list is to be arranged in alphabetical order by surname.

Exception

63.8(3)     This section does not apply if February 15 falls during an election period or if a general election was held in the six months before that date.

Protection of voters list

63.9(1)     A person or registered political party to whom a copy of a voters list has been given under this Act must take all reasonable steps to protect the list and the information contained in it from loss and unauthorized use.

Notice to CEO if voters list is lost

63.9(2)     A person or registered political party to whom a copy of a voters list has been given under this Act must immediately notify the chief electoral officer if the list or information contained in the list has been lost.

Authorized use of voters list

63.9(3)     A voters list or any part of a voters list may be used only as follows:

(a) by a registered political party, for communicating with voters;

(b) by a member of the Assembly, for carrying out the duties and functions of the member;

(c) by a candidate, for communicating with voters during an election period;

(d) by election officials, for the purpose of carrying out their duties under this Act.

Exception

63.9(4)     Despite subsection (3), a voters list that is more than 25 years old may be used for research or historical purposes.

Tracing unauthorized use

63.9(5)     For the purpose of tracing unauthorized uses of a voters list, the chief electoral officer may have fictitious voter information included on a voters list.

21(1)       Subsections 64(3) and (4) are replaced with the following:

Size of urban voting areas

64(3)       The returning officer must, where practical, try to ensure that an urban voting area contains approximately 500 eligible voters.

Size of rural voting areas

64(4)       The returning officer must, where practical, try to ensure that a rural voting area contains approximately 350 eligible voters.

21(2)       Subsection 64(7) is replaced with the following:

Map of voting areas and locations

64(7)       The returning officer must prepare a map of the voting areas in the electoral division and a list of the voting places located in the division.

22          Division 2 of Part 7 is replaced with the following:

DIVISION 2

TARGETED REGISTRATION

Targeted registration to update register

65(1)       The chief electoral officer may require targeted registration to be conducted to update the register of voters before a fixed date election. Targeted registration must be completed before writs of election are issued.

Purpose

65(2)       The purpose of targeted registration is to improve the accuracy and completeness of the register of voters and therefore the preliminary voters lists provided to returning officers under section 74, with respect to the following:

(a) the mobility of voters;

(b) persons who have become eligible voters because they have reached the age of 18 but are not yet included in the register;

(c) persons who have become eligible voters because they have become Canadian citizens but are not yet included in the register;

(d) voters who have died but are still included in the register;

(e) any other matter the chief electoral officer considers relevant.

Target areas

65(3)       Targeted registration may be conducted for any electoral division or any part of an electoral division, including a building with multiple residences, as the chief electoral officer considers desirable.

Period of targeted registration

65(4)       Targeted registration must be conducted within any period specified by the chief electoral officer.

Registration agents

66(1)       The chief electoral officer may direct the returning officer to appoint persons as registration agents for the purpose of conducting a targeted registration.

Personal visits and other techniques

66(2)       In a targeted registration, the following techniques for obtaining information may be used, separately or in any combination, as the chief electoral officer considers desirable:

(a) personal visits to the homes of persons who may be voters but who are not included, or not correctly included, in the register of voters;

(b) distribution of information at locations where it is likely to come to the attention of voters who are not included, or not correctly included, in the register of voters;

(c) mailings, telephone calls, e-mails and any other techniques the chief electoral officer considers will further the targeted registration.

Personal visits to homes

66(3)       A registration agent who makes personal visits to the homes of persons who may be voters

(a) must wear identification supplied by the chief electoral officer; and

(b) must be given access to the entrance door of each residence in an apartment, condominium complex or other multiple residence.

Updating the register

67          When targeted registration is complete, the registration agent must give the returning officer the information obtained about eligible voters, and the returning officer must then give that information to the chief electoral officer to update the register of voters.

23          Division 3 of Part 7 is replaced with the following:

DIVISION 3

PRELIMINARY VOTERS LIST

CEO to provide RO with preliminary voters list

74(1)       The chief electoral officer must

(a) prepare a preliminary voters list for each voting area in an electoral division, using information from the register of voters; and

(b) give the preliminary voters list for each voting area to the returning officer of the electoral division within two days after a writ of election is issued.

Information on preliminary voters list

74(2)       The preliminary voters list must

(a) be arranged in alphabetical order by surname; and

(b) assign a consecutive number to each person on the preliminary voters list and include only the person's name, residential address, and telephone number if provided.

Providing copies of preliminary voters lists to candidates

75(1)       On receiving the preliminary voters lists for his or her electoral division, the returning officer must immediately

(a) sign and date the lists; and

(b) provide a copy to each candidate in the election, as candidate is defined in this Act or The Election Financing Act.

Copies of preliminary list to parties

75(2)       Within two days after a writ of election is issued, the chief electoral officer must provide each registered political party who requests it a copy of the preliminary voters list for each voting area in the province, which also includes the unique identifier assigned to each voter under subsection 63.1(3).

Preliminary list in electronic format

75(3)       The preliminary voters list is to be provided in electronic form, but a paper copy may be provided upon request.

Preliminary list available for inspection

76          The returning officer must

(a) keep a copy of the preliminary voters list in his or her office; and

(b) until election day, make the list available for public inspection for electoral purposes during office hours on every day in the election period.

Voter information card

76.1(1)     The chief electoral officer must send a voter information card to each voter whose name appears on a preliminary voters list for the electoral division.

Content of voter information card

76.1(2)     The voter information card must indicate

(a) the address of the voter's voting station;

(b) the voting hours on election day;

(c) the dates of advance voting and the voting hours and locations of advance voting stations in the voter's electoral division;

(d) how to obtain more information; and

(e) any other information the chief electoral officer considers advisable.

How information card may be sent

76.1(3)     The voter information card may be sent by any method the chief electoral officer considers appropriate, including by e-mail.

24(1)       Clause 77(1)(a) is replaced with the following:

(a) from the day the preliminary voters list is completed until the Monday that is 22 days before election day, in the case of a fixed date election; or

24(2)       Subsection 77(2) is repealed.

24(3)       Subsection 77(3) is amended in the part before clause (a) by striking out "The revision must be conducted in the office of the returning officer" and substituting "The returning office must be open for purposes of revision".

25          Clause 78(1)(a) is amended by replacing "an enumeration record" with "a voter information card".

26(1)       Subsection 79(1) and the centred heading before it are replaced with the following:

CONTACTING VOTERS NOT ON PRELIMINARY VOTERS LIST

Registration agents

79(1)       If the returning officer considers that some eligible voters have not been included on the preliminary voters list, he or she may appoint registration agents to make personal visits to the homes of persons who may be voters, and use other information-gathering techniques referred to in subsection 66(2), so that they may be added to the revised voters list.

26(2)       Subsection 79(2) is amended by replacing "revising agent" with "registration agent".

27          Section 80 and the centred heading before it are repealed.

28          In the following provisions, "revising officer" is struck out wherever it occurs and "returning officer" is substituted:

(a) clause 81(2)(b);

(b) clauses 82(1)(a) and (b);

(c) subsection 82(2);

(d) clause 83(2)(b);

(e) section 84;

(f) subsections 85(4), (5) and (6).

29(1)       Subsection 86(1) is amended by striking out "revising officer" and substituting"returning officer".

29(2)       Subsection 86(2) is replaced with the following:

Adding omitted voters

86(2)       If a personal visit or other information-gathering technique conducted under section 79 identifies an eligible voter who was not on the preliminary voters list, the returning officer must record information about the voter so that the voter may be added to the revised voters list.

30          Section 87 is amended in the part before clause (a) by striking out "revising officer" and substituting"returning officer".

31(1)       Subsection 88(1) is amended by striking out "revising officer" and substituting"returning officer".

31(2)       Subsection 88(2) is replaced with the following:

Signing the record of revision

88(2)       At the close of revision, the returning officer must sign and date the record of revision.

31(3)       The following is added as subsection 88(3):

Voter information card

88(3)       The returning officer must send a voter information card referred to in section 76.1 to each voter whose name is added to the voters list during revision.

32(1)       Subsection 89(1) is replaced with the following:

Preparing revised voters list

89(1)       From the record of revision and from updated information received from the chief electoral officer respecting voters who have been added to the register before the close of revision, the returning officer must prepare a revised voters list for each voting area in the electoral division by making the necessary changes to the preliminary voters list.

32(2)       Subsection 89(2) is amended by adding "and dated" after "signed".

33          Section 91 and the centred heading before it are repealed.

34          The centred heading "CHANGE OF RESIDENCE AFTER REVISION" is added before section 92.

35          Division 6 of Part 7 is repealed.

36          Subsection 107(1) is amended by striking out "400 names" and substituting "500 names".

37          Section 110 is amended by striking out "7:00 a.m." and substituting "8:00 a.m.".

38          The following is added after clause 112(3)(b):

(b.1) the person votes after another person vouches on his or her behalf under subsection 115(2.1);

39(1)       Subsection 115(2) is replaced with the following:

Eligibility to vote if name on voters list and identity established

115(2)      If a person's name is on the official voters list, the person may vote if he or she establishes his or her identity in accordance with section 2.

39(2)       The following is added after subsection 115(2):

Vouching for person on voters list whose identity not established

115(2.1)    If a person's name is on the official voters list but the person is unable to establish his or her identity in accordance with section 2, the person may vote if

(a) he or she takes an oath in the prescribed form; and

(b) he or she is accompanied by someone who resides in the same electoral division and who

(i) establishes his or her identity in accordance with section 2, and

(ii) vouches for the person by taking an oath in the prescribed form.

Vouching limit

115(2.2)    A person must not vouch for more than one person at an election.

Prohibition — person vouched for not to vouch for another

115(2.3)    A person who has been vouched for at an election must not vouch for another person at that election.

39(3)       The following is added after subsection 115(6):

Crossing names off voters list

115(7)      The voting officer or assistant voting officer must cross a person's name off the official voters list when the person is given a ballot.

Ability to vote subject to voter challenge

115(8)      A person's right to vote under this section is subject to section 116 (voter challenge).

40(1)       The following is added after subsection 125(2):

No vouching during advance voting

125(2.1)    Vouching for a person is not permitted at an advance voting station.

40(2)       Subsections 125(4) and (5) are replaced with the following:

Advance voting at returning office

125(4)      An advance voting station must operate in the returning office from the second Thursday before election day to the Thursday before election day.

Additional advance voting stations

125(5)      If the chief electoral officer approves, advance voting stations may operate at other locations between the second Thursday before election day and the Thursday before election day, on days specified by the returning officer.

40(3)       Subsection 125(7) is amended in the part before clause (a) by adding ", whenever practical," after "must".

41          Subsection 127(1) is amended by striking out everything after "located," and substituting "and another for non-residents if the returning officer considers that numbers warrant it.".

42          The following is added after subsection 134(2):

RO may open certificate envelopes

134(3)      At 6:00 p.m. on election day, the returning officer may open the certificate envelopes (but not the ballot envelopes) in the presence of the candidates or their scrutineers, or two voters if no candidate or scrutineers are present.

43(1)       The following is added after subsection 137(3):

Establishing identity at institutional voting stations

137(3.1)    The identity of patients and residents of a health care facility and inmates at a correctional facility may be established based upon information provided to the voting officer or assistant voting officer by staff at the facility.

43(2)       Subsection 137(6) is amended by striking out "7:00 a.m." and substituting "8:00 a.m.".

44          Subsection 141(3) is amended by striking out "7:00 a.m." and substituting "8:00 a.m.".

45(1)       Clause 143(2)(a) is amended by striking out "geographic" and substituting "residential".

45(2)       Subsections 143(3) and (4) are replaced with the following:

Application before returning office opens

143(3)      An application made before the returning office for the applicant's electoral division opens must be sent to the chief electoral officer.

Application after returning office opens

143(4)      An application made after the returning office for the applicant's electoral division opens must be sent to the returning officer so that it is received no later than the Saturday before election day.

46(1)       Subsection 144(1) is amended by striking out "before an election is called" and substituting "until the returning office opens".

46(2)       Clause 144(2)(c) is amended by striking out "when an election is called" and substituting "before the returning office opens".

46(3)       Subsection 144(4) is amended by striking out "When an election is called" and substituting "When the returning office opens".

47          Clause 146(1)(f) is repealed.

48          Section 147 is amended in clause (a) of STEP 2 by adding "or the registered political party of the candidate" after "candidate".

49          Clause 150(b) is replaced with the following:

(b) deal with and count the absentee ballots using as nearly as possible the procedures in subsection 140(4) (counting institutional write-in ballots), but with the following changes:

(i) if the voter has voted for a registered political party rather than a candidate as permitted by STEP 2 of section 147, the vote is to be counted as a vote for the candidate in the electoral division endorsed by that party,

(ii) a ballot is to be rejected if it is marked for a registered political party that has not endorsed a candidate in the electoral division, or if it is marked for both a candidate and a registered political party but the candidate is not endorsed by that political party.

50          Subsection 151(2) is amended

(a) by adding the following after clause (a);

(a.1) establish the applicant's identity in accordance with section 2;

(b) in clause (c), by striking out "the Monday before" and substituting "the day before".

51          The following is added after subsection 177(2):

Register not publicly available

177(3)      The register of voters is not available for public inspection.

52          The following is added after subsection 181(2):

Impersonating a candidate or a candidate's representative

181(3)      A person who falsely represents that he or she is a candidate or is authorized by a candidate to act on his or her behalf is guilty of an offence.

53(1)       Subsection 182(1) is amended

(a) in the part before clause (a), by striking out ", enumerator";

(b) in clause (a), by striking out "or enumerator"; and

(c) in clause (b), by striking out "section 94" and substituting "section 63.6".

53(2)       The following is added after subsection 182(1):

Impersonating an election official

182(1.1)    A person who falsely represents that he or she is as an election official is guilty of an offence.

53(3)       Subsection 182(3) is amended by striking out "enumerator or".

53(4)       Subsection 182(4) is amended by striking out "or an enumerator".

54(1)       Subsection 183(1) is amended by adding "the register of voters or" after "deleted from".

54(2)       Clauses 183(2)(a) and (b) are amended by adding "the register of voters or" after "kept on".

54(3)       Subsection 183(4) is amended by striking out ", enumerator".

54(4)       Subsection 183(6) is amended by striking out "section 95" and substituting "subsection 63.9(3) or (4)".

55          Section 196.1 is replaced with the following:

Actions in anticipation of new electoral divisions

196.1       In anticipation of an Act establishing a new electoral division or changing the boundaries of an existing electoral division, the chief electoral officer may appoint a returning officer and assistant returning officers for the new or revised electoral division and prepare preliminary voters lists from information contained in the register.

56          Section 197 is amended in the part before clause (a) by striking out "or an enumerator".

57          Section 198 is amended by striking out "employed under the chief electoral officer" and substituting "appointed by or employed under the chief electoral officer or a returning officer, including an election official,".

58           Clause 203(b) is amended by striking out "enumerators,".

RELATED AND CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

Related amendment, C.C.S.M. c. E10

59          Section 4 of The Education Administration Act is amended

(a) in clause (1)(h.1), by adding "subject to subsection (1.1)," before "respecting"; and

(b) by adding the following after subsection (1):

In-services to be held on general election days

4(1.1)      The regulation under clause (1)(h.1) must provide for the scheduling of a non-instructional day on the election day of a fixed date election, as defined in The Elections Act.

Consequential amendments, C.C.S.M. c. E27

60(1)       The Election Financing Act is amended by this section.

60(2)       Clause 28(3)(a) is amended by striking out "or enumerator".

60(3)       Subsection 53(1) is amended by striking out "at the end of the second Thursday before election day".

60(4)       Clause 86(3)(d) is amended by striking out "or enumerator".

Consequential amendment, C.C.S.M. c. M257

61          Clause 28(2)(b) of The Municipal Councils and School Boards Elections Act is amended by striking out "a voters list" and substituting "the register of voters".

Consequential amendment, C.C.S.M. c. V60

62          Subsection 41(2) of The Vital Statistics Act is replaced with the following:

Exceptions

41(2)       Subsection (1) does not prohibit

(a) the compilation, furnishing or publication of statistical data that does not disclose specific information about a particular person; or

(b) the provision of information to the chief electoral officer under The Elections Act.

Consequential amendment, M.R. 6/2007

63          Subsection 8(2) of the Employment Standards Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 6/2007, is replaced with the following:

8(2)        In subsection (1), "election worker" means an election official as defined in The Elections Act and includes any other person appointed on a temporary basis under that Act for the purpose of conducting an election.

COMING INTO FORCE

Coming into force

64          This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends The Elections Act to establish a new register of voters, which is a permanent and continually updated database of Manitobans eligible to vote in provincial elections. It eliminates the need for enumeration each time an election is called.

Key elements of the register are as follows:

  • Using the final voters lists for the 2016 general election as a base, the register will be updated using information from federal, provincial and municipal data sources and through direct updates from voters. Elections Manitoba has authority to carry out targeted registration programs before an election is called to ensure that the register is as up-to-date as possible.
  • Information from the register will be used to prepare the preliminary voters lists required by election officials, candidates and political parties once an election is called.
  • Voters who have registered once do not have to register again at each election call.
  • Voters may choose to opt out of the register, but they retain the right to vote.
  • Voters on the register will receive an information card before election day informing them where and when they can vote.

The Bill also requires voters to present proof of identity and address when they vote. A person who is on the voters list, but whose documentation does not indicate an address, may vote if they make a declaration as to their address. On election day, a person who is on the voters list who does not have the necessary documents to establish their identity may still vote if another resident of the same electoral division vouches for them.

The Bill permits absentee voters to cast a ballot for a registered political party rather than for a candidate, thus allowing absentee voters to vote before nominations close.

The Bill requires schools to have an in-service day on the day of a fixed date general election.

To improve the voting process for voters and to achieve administrative efficiencies, the Bill permits the Chief Electoral Officer to make modifications to the usual voting process. Modifications can be made only in consultation with the all-party advisory committee established under the Act and require prior approval of the Standing Committee on Legislative Affairs.

The Bill includes minor administrative amendments to The Elections Act.

Related and consequential amendments are made to several Acts.