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This Act is current to November 1, 2017
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Election Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 106

Part 5 — Candidates

Division 1 — Nominations

Who may be nominated

52  (1) To be qualified for nomination as a candidate for office as a member of the Legislative Assembly, an individual must

(a) be a Canadian citizen,

(b) be 18 years of age or older on general voting day for the election,

(c) have been a resident of British Columbia for at least 6 months immediately before the individual becomes a candidate, and

(d) not be disqualified by this Act or any other enactment from voting in an election or from being nominated for, being elected to or holding office as a member of the Legislative Assembly, or be otherwise disqualified by law.

(2) At any one time, an individual is not entitled to be nominated as a candidate for more than one electoral district.

Who may make nominations

53  (1) A nomination must be made by at least 75 voters for the electoral district for which the election is being held.

(2) For any one election an individual may not be a nominator for more than one candidate.

(3) Even if one or more of the nominators is not qualified in accordance with this section, a nomination is valid as long as the nomination is made by at least the minimum number of qualified nominators.

Nomination documents

54  (1) A nomination must be made in writing in accordance with this section.

(2) A nomination must be signed by the nominators and must include the following information:

(a) the electoral district for which the individual is being nominated;

(b) the full name of the individual nominated;

(c) the usual name of the individual nominated, if this is different from the full name and the individual wishes to have his or her usual name on the ballot instead;

(d) the residential address of the individual nominated;

(e) if applicable, the name of the registered political party that the individual is nominated to represent;

(f) if the individual is nominated as an independent candidate and wishes to have that status indicated on the ballot, a statement requesting this;

(g) the names and residential addresses of the nominators.

(3) A nomination must be accompanied by the following:

(a) a signed declaration of each nominator that he or she is qualified as a voter for the electoral district for which the election is being held;

(b) a signed consent of the individual nominated to the nomination;

(c) a signed statement of the individual nominated that he or she is qualified to be nominated;

(d) in the case of an individual making a request under subsection (2) (c), a signed statement of the individual that the name requested to be used on the ballot is his or her usual name;

(e) in the case of an individual making a request under subsection (2) (f), a signed statement of the individual that he or she is independent;

(f) the appointment of the auditor in accordance with section 179 and a signed consent of the auditor to act as such;

(g) either

(i) a statement that the individual nominated is acting as his or her own financial agent, or

(ii) the appointment of an individual as financial agent in accordance with section 176 and a signed consent of the individual to act as such;

(h) the appointment of any deputy financial agents in accordance with section 178 and the signed consents of the individuals to act as such;

(i) a statement signed by the individual nominated of an address at which documents will be accepted for delivery to or service on the individual and a telephone number at which the individual can be contacted;

(j) the disclosure required by section 2 (1) of the Financial Disclosure Act.

(4) [Repealed 2016-4-22.]

(5) The chief electoral officer may require nomination documents, other than the disclosure under the Financial Disclosure Act, to be made in a form specified by the chief electoral officer.

Nomination deposit

55  (1) In order to be effective, a nomination must be accompanied by a deposit of $250.

(2) The nomination deposit under subsection (1) must be held by the chief electoral officer to be dealt with as follows:

(a) if the individual for whom it is paid receives at least 15% of the total votes accepted and counted in the election, the nomination deposit is to be returned to the financial agent of the individual;

(b) if the individual for whom it is paid dies before the close of general voting for the election, the nomination deposit is to be returned to the financial agent of the individual or to another person determined by the chief electoral officer;

(b.1) if the nomination deposit is in relation to a nomination under section 57 for an electoral district that is disestablished before an election is held, the nomination deposit is to be returned to the financial agent of the individual for whom it was paid;

(c) in other cases, the nomination deposit is forfeited and is to be paid to the consolidated revenue fund.

Nomination by filing documents with the district electoral officer

56  (1) In order to make a nomination under this section, the nomination documents required by section 54 (2) and (3) must be received by the district electoral officer,

(a) in the case of a general election conducted in accordance with section 23 (2) of the Constitution Act, between the time the election is called and 1 p.m. on the 7th day after the election is called, or

(b) in the case of a by-election, or a general election that is not conducted in accordance with section 23 (2) of the Constitution Act, between 9 a.m. on the 3rd day after the election is called and 1 p.m. on the 7th day after the election is called.

(2) As exceptions to subsection (1),

(a) if the first day of the nomination period would otherwise fall on a holiday, the nomination period begins at 9 a.m. on the next day that is not a holiday, and

(b) if the end of the nomination period would otherwise fall on a holiday, the nomination period ends at 1 p.m. on the next day that is not a holiday.

(3) Times referred to in this section are Pacific Standard time or Pacific Daylight time, as applicable.

(4) For the purposes of this section, nomination documents must be received at the office of the district electoral officer during its regular office hours and may be received at other times and places during the nomination period as allowed by the district electoral officer.

(5) The obligation to ensure that nomination documents are received in accordance with this section rests with the individual nominated.

(6) Once all the required nomination documents and the required nomination deposit have been received, the district electoral officer must accept the documents for filing unless the individual appears from those documents to be ineligible for nomination.

(7) If nomination documents are not accepted for filing because they are defective, they may be completed, corrected or substituted before the end of the nomination period.

(8) When all the required nomination documents are accepted for filing, the district electoral officer must issue to the candidate a certificate indicating that the individual is a candidate in the election.

(9) The district electoral officer must forward the nomination deposits received under this section to the chief electoral officer.

Standing nominations filed with the chief electoral officer

57  (1) Nomination documents may be filed with the chief electoral officer at any time up until,

(a) in the case of a general election conducted in accordance with section 23 (2) of the Constitution Act, the end of the day before the date the election is called, or

(b) in the case of a by-election, or a general election that is not conducted in accordance with section 23 (2) of the Constitution Act, the end of the day before the nomination period begins under section 56.

(2) The nomination deposit must be received by the chief electoral officer before nomination documents are accepted for filing under subsection (1).

(3) A nomination under this section is completed when the following documents are accepted for filing by the chief electoral officer:

(a) the disclosure required by section 2 (1) of the Financial Disclosure Act;

(b) the signed statement of the individual nominated that he or she is qualified to be nominated.

(4) [Repealed 2008-41-16.]

(5) The obligation to ensure that nomination documents are received in accordance with this section rests with the individual nominated.

(6) Once all the required nomination documents and the required nomination deposit have been received, the chief electoral officer must accept the documents for filing unless the individual appears from those documents to be ineligible for nomination.

(7) If nomination documents are not accepted for filing because they are defective, they may be completed, corrected or substituted before the day on which the nomination period begins under section 56.

(8) When all the required nomination documents are accepted for filing, the chief electoral officer must issue, after the election is called, to the candidate a certificate indicating that the individual is a candidate in the election.

(9) Subject to subsection (9.1), as soon as possible after the end of the period for making nominations under this section, the chief electoral officer must deliver to the applicable district electoral officer a copy of

(a) the certificate under subsection (8),

(b) the disclosure under the Financial Disclosure Act, and

(c) the other nomination documents filed under this section.

(9.1) Subsection (9) does not apply in relation to an individual whose nomination is withdrawn under this Act.

(10) At any time before the individual nominated becomes a candidate, the nomination may be withdrawn by the individual nominated delivering to the chief electoral officer a withdrawal signed by the individual.

(11) [Repealed 2008-41-16.]

(12) If an electoral district is disestablished after nomination documents are filed under this section in relation to the electoral district, the nomination is cancelled.

(13) If an enactment establishes a new electoral district but the enactment does not come into force until a future time, the chief electoral officer may accept nomination documents under this section for the future electoral district.

Changes to nomination documents after filing

58  After nomination documents have been accepted for filing, they may be amended by the district electoral officer or the chief electoral officer on the basis of information provided by the candidate in writing, but only in relation to matters of fact that have changed since the time of filing.

Nomination documents available for public inspection

59  (1) Nomination documents filed under section 56 must be available for public inspection at the office of the district electoral officer during its regular office hours until they are sent to the chief electoral officer under subsection (4).

(2) Nomination documents filed under section 57 must be available for public inspection

(a) at the office of the chief electoral officer during its regular office hours until they are sent to the district electoral officer under section 57 (9), and

(b) at the office of the district electoral officer during its regular office hours from the time they are received from the chief electoral officer until they are returned to the chief electoral officer.

(3) A copy of the required disclosure under the Financial Disclosure Act must be made available by the district electoral officer for the purposes of subsection (1) and by the chief electoral officer for the purposes of subsection (2).

(4) The district electoral officer must send the nomination documents under subsections (1) and (2) to the chief electoral officer when returning the writ for the election.

(5) Nomination documents received by the chief electoral officer under subsection (4) must be available for public inspection at the office of the chief electoral officer during its regular office hours until one year after the return of the writ for the election.

Endorsement of candidate by registered political party

60  (1) In order for a candidate to represent a registered political party in an election, a written endorsement of the candidate signed by at least 2 principal officers of the political party must be made by one of the following means:

(a) in all cases, by filing the endorsement with the chief electoral officer before the end of the nomination period;

(b) in the case of an individual nominated under section 56, by filing the endorsement with the district electoral officer before the end of the nomination period.

(2) For a general election, an endorsement under subsection (1) (a) may be made as a single document endorsing candidates for a number of electoral districts.

(3) At any time up until the end of the nomination period, the status of a candidate as representative of a registered political party may be cancelled by

(a) the candidate delivering to the district electoral officer or chief electoral officer a written request to this effect signed by the candidate, or

(b) the registered political party delivering to the district electoral officer or chief electoral officer a written request to this effect signed by at least 2 principal officers of the political party.

(4) If a request under subsection (3) is received, the individual nominated remains a candidate but ceases to be a candidate representing the registered political party.

(5) A registered political party may not at any one time be represented by more than one candidate in an election for a single electoral district.

Declaration of candidates and election

61  (1) Immediately following the end of the nomination period under section 56, the district electoral officer must publicly declare the following:

(a) that the nomination period for the election is closed;

(b) that the individuals whose nomination documents have been accepted for filing are candidates in the election, subject only to a court order under section 66;

(c) the names of the individuals who are candidates in the election;

(d) if there is more than one candidate for the office to be filled, that an election by voting is to be held and the general voting day for that election;

(e) if there is only one candidate for the office to be filled, that the candidate is elected by acclamation.

(2) The district electoral officer must deliver a certified list of the candidates declared under subsection (1) to each of those candidates who requests it.

(3) As soon as possible after the declaration, the district electoral officer must provide the chief electoral officer with the names of the candidates, the registered political parties they represent, if applicable, and any other information the chief electoral officer directs.

(4) In the case of an election by acclamation, as soon as possible after the declaration, the district electoral officer must return the writ of election to the chief electoral officer certifying the name of the individual elected.

Notice of election by voting

62  (1) As soon as possible after the declaration of an election by voting, the district electoral officer must publish a notice of election in accordance with section 270.

(2) The notice of election must include the following information:

(a) the names of the candidates in the order and as the names will appear on the ballots;

(b) as applicable, the status of each candidate as the representative of a registered political party or as an independent candidate;

(c) the date, voting hours and voting places for general voting;

(d) the dates, voting hours and voting places for advance voting;

(d.1) the identification requirements for voting and for registering to vote in conjunction with voting;

(e) how an individual may obtain information regarding other opportunities for voting in the election.

Division 2 — Candidates

When an individual is a candidate

63  (1) An individual becomes a candidate when all the required nomination documents are accepted for filing and a certificate is issued by the district electoral officer under section 56 (8) or by the chief electoral officer under section 57 (8).

(2) A candidate continues to be a candidate until the date of the return of the writ for the election, unless the individual earlier withdraws, dies or is declared under section 66 to no longer be a candidate.

Withdrawal of candidate

64  (1) At any time up until 48 hours before the start of advance voting, a candidate may withdraw from the election by delivering a signed withdrawal to the district electoral officer.

(2) The candidate's signature on a withdrawal must be witnessed by at least one other individual who must sign the withdrawal as witness.

(3) If only one candidate remains after a withdrawal, the district electoral officer must declare the candidate elected by acclamation and must as soon as possible after the declaration return the writ of election to the chief electoral officer certifying the name of the individual elected.

Death of candidate

65  (1) If a candidate dies before the end of the nomination period, the nomination period ends on whichever of the following is later:

(a) the end of the nomination period under section 56;

(b) 1 p.m. on the 6th day after the date of death.

(2) If a candidate dies between the end of the nomination period and the close of general voting,

(a) the original election proceedings under the writ for the election are cancelled and election proceedings must be started again as if the writ for the election were issued on the day on which the chief electoral officer received proof of the death, and

(b) no new nomination documents and deposit are required for a candidate in the original election proceedings and the individual is deemed to be a candidate in the continued election unless he or she withdraws.

Challenge of candidate

66  (1) The nomination of a candidate may only be challenged by an application to the Supreme Court in accordance with this section.

(2) The time period during which an application may be made is between the time the individual becomes a candidate in accordance with section 63 (1) and noon on the 4th day after the end of the nomination period.

(3) A challenge may only be made by a voter of the electoral district for which the election is being held or by another candidate for the election in the electoral district.

(4) A challenge may only be made on one or more of the following bases:

(a) that the individual is not qualified to be nominated or elected;

(b) that the nomination was not made in accordance with Division 1 of this Part;

(c) that the individual is not in fact nominated as an independent candidate, as stated in the nomination documents;

(d) that the usual name given under section 54 (2) (c) in the nomination documents is not in fact the usual name of the individual.

(5) At the time the petition commencing a challenge is filed in the court registry, the court

(a) must set a time for the hearing that is adequate to allow the court to give its decision on the matter within the time limit established by subsection (7), and

(b) may in its discretion fix the place for the hearing.

(6) The individual making a challenge must notify affected individuals by

(a) immediately notifying the district electoral officer and the affected candidate of the challenge and of the time and place at which it will be heard by the court, and

(b) within 24 hours of commencing the application, serving on these individuals the petition, the accompanying affidavit and a notice of the time and place for the hearing.

(7) Within 72 hours after the end of the period for commencing a challenge, not including Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays, the court must hear and determine the challenge.

(8) On the hearing of a challenge, the court may issue an order

(a) confirming the individual as a candidate,

(b) declaring that the individual is not a candidate,

(c) declaring that the individual is or is not entitled to have the usual name indicated in the nomination documents used on the ballot, or

(d) declaring that the individual is not nominated as an independent candidate.

(9) For certainty, the jurisdiction of the court under this section may be exercised by a master of the court.

(10) The decision of the court on a challenge under this section is final and may not be appealed.

Candidate entitled to leave from employment

67  (1) If requested in writing by a candidate, the candidate's employer must grant the individual a leave without pay in accordance with this section.

(2) The leave may be either full time or part time, as requested by the candidate.

(3) If the leave is part time, the candidate's request must specify the days and hours of the leave.

(4) Unless ended earlier by the employee, the leave ends as follows:

(a) if the individual withdraws as a candidate, the day after that withdrawal;

(b) if the individual is declared under section 66 to no longer be a candidate, the day after that declaration;

(c) in other cases, the day after the declaration of the results of the election under section 137.

(5) Despite any other enactment and despite any agreement to the contrary, throughout the leave under this section the employee is entitled, subject to this section, to all benefits attached to the employment except pay.

(6) If the employee makes a written request to this effect before or immediately at the beginning of the leave, the employee may continue to contribute to any pension, medical or other plan beneficial to the employee in which the employee participates, as long as the employee pays both the employee's and the employer's contributions to the plan.

(7) Section 54 of the Employment Standards Act applies to a leave under this section and the services of the employee are to be considered continuous for the purposes of sections 57 and 58 and Part 8 of that Act.

(8) An employer must not, because of a leave under this section,

(a) dismiss, lay off, suspend, demote or transfer the employee, or

(b) give the employee less favourable employment conditions or diminish any benefit attached to the employment to which the employee is entitled.

(9) An employee who is affected by a contravention of this section may make a complaint to the Director of Employment Standards or the authorized representative of that official, in which case Part 11 of the Employment Standards Act applies as if the complaint were made under that Act.

(10) As an alternative to a complaint under subsection (9), an employee affected by a contravention of this section whose employment is covered by a collective agreement may have the complaint dealt with in accordance with the grievance procedure established by that agreement.

(11) Nothing in this section applies to preclude any other rights to leave that an individual may have or acquire.

Delivery of documents to candidates

68  (1) Where a document is required or authorized for the purposes of this Act to be served on a candidate, if the document is left at the address given in the nomination documents under section 54 (3) (i), the document is deemed to have been personally served on the candidate.

(2) Where a document or information is required or authorized for the purposes of this Act to be served on or otherwise given to a candidate, giving the document or information to the official agent of the candidate is deemed to be giving it to the candidate.

Division 3 — Candidate Representatives

Appointment of official agent

69  (1) A candidate may appoint one individual as official agent.

(2) An individual may be appointed as both the financial agent and the official agent of the same candidate.

(3) An appointment must be made in writing, must be signed by the candidate and must include the following:

(a) the name of the individual appointed as official agent;

(b) the residential address of the individual appointed;

(c) an address at which documents will be accepted for delivery to or service on the official agent;

(d) a telephone number at which the official agent can be contacted.

(4) An appointment as official agent becomes effective when the appointment and a signed consent of the individual appointed to act as official agent are filed with the nomination documents or delivered to the district electoral officer.

Appointment of scrutineers and other candidate representatives

70  (1) A candidate or the candidate's official agent may appoint candidate representatives in accordance with this section to represent the candidate by observing the conduct of voting, registration at the time of voting and counting proceedings for the election.

(2) An appointment as a candidate representative must be in writing, signed by the individual making the appointment, and include the following:

(a) the name of the individual appointed;

(b) if the individual is appointed as a scrutineer, the voting or counting proceedings for which the individual is appointed;

(c) if the individual is appointed as a candidate representative for the purpose of section 93 (2) (d) (iv), a statement of this appointment.

Notice of candidate agents

71  (1) As soon as possible after the declaration under section 61 of an election by voting, the district electoral officer must publish a notice of candidate agents in accordance with section 270.

(2) The notice of candidate agents must include for each candidate

(a) the name and mailing address of the financial agent, and

(b) if applicable, the name of the official agent and the address at which documents will be accepted for delivery to or service on the official agent.

(3) If there is a change in the official agent or financial agent for a candidate, the district electoral officer must publish a new notice in accordance with this section respecting the candidate.

Presence of candidate representatives at election proceedings

72  (1) When requested by an election official, a candidate representative present at election proceedings must produce his or her appointment under this Division.

(2) A candidate representative must not be present at voting or counting proceedings unless he or she has made the solemn declaration to preserve the secrecy of the ballot referred to in section 93 (4).

(3) A candidate representative is entitled to inspect a voting book, list of voters or list of voter numbers being used in voting proceedings, so long as this does not interfere with the proceedings.

(4) The absence of a candidate representative from a place where election proceedings are being conducted does not invalidate anything done in the election.

Contents | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Schedule