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RFD- 3592 Bylaws   Item #   9. c.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 04/23/2019  
Title:    C-1073-19 – All Three Readings – Elections Bylaw – Pungur-Buick
Department: Corporate Services  
Strategic Vision Element: n/a Related Goal: n/a

Information
Request for Decision Summary
Administration is proposing a revised Elections Bylaw for consistency with the recently amended Local Authorities Election Act and in order to reduce voting hours during by-elections and a vote on a question or bylaw.

Proposed Motion
That first reading be given to C-1073-19 - Elections Bylaw. 

That second reading be given to C-1073-19 - Elections Bylaw. 
 
 
That unanimous consent be given to proceed with third reading of Bylaw C-1073-19 - Elections Bylaw.
 
 
That third reading be given to C-1073-19 - Elections Bylaw. 
 
Background/Analysis
The Local Authorities Election Act RSA 2000 cL-21 (the LAEA) was recently amended resulting in several changes that impact the conduct of municipal elections and by-elections. A revised Elections Bylaw is proposed to ensure consistency with provincial legislation, practical implementation of this bylaw during a by-election, and several administrative updates for clarity.

For consistency with the LAEA, changes were made to:
  • appoint a substitute returning officer;
  • clarify the nomination period, form of nomination and responsibilities;
  • remove references to the Modified Voting Procedure Regulation;
  • allow for a single counting centre to be designated;
  • clarify the requirement to conduct an advance vote; and
  • replace references to “incapacitated voting” with “elector assistance at home”.

In 2017 the Elections Bylaw was amended to allow for voting stations to open at 6:30 a.m. rather than 10:00 a.m. While it was a positive change for the general election, it is not expected that the benefit will outweigh the administrative costs for by-elections, which typically see significantly lower voter turnout. Administration is therefore recommending that voting hours for a by-election and a vote on a question or bylaw be reduced to the hours prescribed by the LAEA, which is 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Other technical and clarifying amendments included the replacement of references to “Alderman”, and the inclusion of a definition of Voting Station and Auxiliary Ballot Box, which is a separate compartment within the ballot box used for the purposes of collecting ballots if the electronic tabulator is not operational.
Options/Alternatives
While many of the proposed changes are required by legislation, Council does have discretion over the appointment of a substitute returning officer under the LAEA, and may choose an alternative position within the organization, or opt to appoint the substitute by resolution no later than June 30 in each election year.

With respect to Voting Hours for a by-election, Council may choose alternative hours so long as they are not reduced further than that prescribed by legislation, which is 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Consultation/Engagement
Administration drafted the proposed bylaw in conjunction with legal counsel, and sought clarification on the new legislative requirements from Municipal Affairs.
Implementation/Communication
A comprehensive communications plan will be developed for any upcoming elections and will include information about the relevant changes to this bylaw and the requirements of the Local Authorities Election Act. The returning officer will implement necessary process changes as required.
Impacts
 The proposed bylaw will ensure a smooth election process and compliance with provincial legislation.
Attachments
Draft Bylaw C-1073-19 - Elections Bylaw
Draft Bylaw C-1073-19 - Elections Bylaw - Redline Copy
C-989-17 - Current Bylaw

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