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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 8 — Invalid Elections

Application to court

150  (1) The right of an elected candidate to take office or the validity of an election may not be challenged except by an application under this section.

(2) An application may be made in accordance with this section to the Supreme Court for a declaration regarding the right of an individual to take office or the validity of an election.

(3) The time limit for making an application is as follows:

(a) if the application is on the basis that section 255, 256, 257 or 258 was contravened, 3 months after the date of the contravention or 30 days after the return of the writ for the election, whichever is later;

(b) in other cases, 30 days after the return of the writ for the election.

(4) An application may be made only by a candidate in the election, the chief electoral officer or a voter for the electoral district for which the election was held.

(5) An application may be made only on one or more of the following bases:

(a) that a candidate declared elected was not qualified to hold office at the time he or she was elected;

(b) that an election should be declared invalid because it was not conducted in accordance with this Act or a regulation under this Act;

(c) that an election should be declared invalid because section 255, 256, 257 or 258 was contravened.

(6) As a restriction on subsection (5) (b), an application may not be made on any basis for which an application for judicial recount may be or may have been made.

(7) The individual making the application must serve the petition on the chief electoral officer, the district electoral officer and the individuals who were candidates in the election.

(8) The individuals referred to in subsection (7) are entitled to be parties to the application.

(9) If a candidate affected by an application files a written statement renouncing all claim to the office to which the candidate was elected, the court may permit the petition for the application to be withdrawn unless it is based on an allegation that the candidate who has renounced the office contravened section 255 or 256.

(10) If the application is based on a claim that section 255, 256 or 258 was contravened, the evidence regarding that claim must be given orally by witnesses rather than by affidavit.

Power of the court on an application

151  (1) On the hearing of an application, the court may do any of the following:

(a) declare that an elected candidate is qualified to take and hold office;

(b) declare that an elected candidate is not qualified to hold office and that the office is vacant;

(c) declare that an election is confirmed as valid;

(d) declare that an election is invalid and that the office is vacant.

(2) The court must not declare an election invalid by reason only of an irregularity or a contravention of this Act or a regulation under this Act if the court is satisfied that

(a) the election was conducted in good faith and in accordance with the principles of this Act, and

(b) the irregularity or contravention did not materially affect the result of the election.

(3) The court may confirm the election of a candidate in relation to which the court finds there was a contravention of section 255, 256, 257 or 258 if the court is satisfied that

(a) the candidate did not contravene the applicable section, and

(b) the contravention did not materially affect the result of the election.

Costs of an application

152  (1) If the court declares that a candidate is not qualified to hold office or that an election is invalid, the costs, within the meaning of the Supreme Court Civil Rules, of the individual who made the application under section 150 must be paid promptly by the chief electoral officer.

(2) The court may order that costs to be paid under subsection (1) may be recovered from any other person as directed by the court in the same manner as a judgment of the Supreme Court.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (1), the costs of an application are in the discretion of the court.

Report to the Legislative Assembly

153  (1) As soon as possible after the final determination of an application under this Part, the chief electoral officer must present to the Speaker a report respecting the application and the decision of the court.

(2) The Speaker must lay a report under subsection (1) before the Legislative Assembly as soon as possible.

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