Benoit First Nation Election Rules

The band manager will be act as electoral officer. In the absense of a band manager and electoral officer, the duties of the returning officer will be assumed by an election committee that is to be formed and made up of at least three band members at least 18 years of age and where possible should include an elder, woman, and youth. Persons nominated for a position on council cannot sit on the election committee.

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References to the electoral officer herein is to be substituted for the election committee in the absense of aforementioned electoral officer.

Section I

Sub-section A

Nominations:

 

  1. Elections shall take place at an annual assembly every three years.
  2. The Band Manager shall act as the electoral officer and publicly post the Notice of Nominations for the positions on the band council.
  3. Nominations for positions on the band council will open and close at least one month prior to the Annual Assembly and Election.
  4. Any member 18 years of age or older can be nominated.
  5. Candidates must not have been convicted of an indictable offence in Canada within ten years prior to their nomination except where conviction of an offence was relating to the assertion or exercise of aboriginal rights or title and shall be deemed not to be a conviction for the purpose of this section.
  6. After Nominations are closed, public notice is to be given of each candidate nominated and accepted and the position nominated for.
  7. If more than the required numbers of candidates are nominated, then an election by private ballot will take place and winners to be determined based on the most votes received from voters present at the meeting.
  8. If only the required number of candidates are nominated to fill the band council positions then those nominated will be deemed to have been elected by acclimation and no voting is required.
  9. If less than the number of candidates are nominated than are required to fill all the band council positions, those nominated will be deemed to have been elected by acclimation and no voting is required. By-elections are to be held at each of the next general meetings until all the vacancies on the band council are filled.
  10. All elected members to the band council are required to take an oath-of-office at a swearing-in ceremony.

Sub-section B

Section II

Ballots:

  1. The electoral officer shall prepare ballots setting out

    (a) the names of the candidates nominated for election as chief, in alphabetical order; and

    (b) the names of the candidates nominated for election for each position as Vice-Chief, Secretary, Treasurer, Women’s Director, Elder, and Youth Director, in alphabetical order.

  2. Where two or more candidates have the same name, the electoral officer shall add to the ballots such additional information as is necessary to distinguish between those candidates.

  3. The electoral officer shall prepare separate ballots for the candidates for election as chief and for the candidates for election as band councilors.

  4. At least 30 days before the day on which an election is to be held, the electoral officer shall mail, to every elector who does not reside in the community, a package consisting of

    (a) a ballot, initialed on the back by the electoral officer;

    (b) an outer, return envelope, pre-addressed to the electoral officer;

    (c) a second, inner envelope marked "Ballot" for insertion of the completed ballot;

    (d) a voter declaration form;

    (e) a letter of instruction regarding voting by mail-in ballot;

    (f) identification of the location of the polling station, and

    (ii) a statement advising the elector that he or she may vote in person at a polling station on the day of the election in accordance with section III subsection A in lieu of voting by mail-in ballot; and

    (g) a list of the names of any candidates who were acclaimed.

  5. At the request of an elector who resides in the community, the electoral officer shall provide a package referred to in subsection (4) to that elector.

    5.1 The electoral officer shall indicate on the voters list that a ballot has been provided to each elector to whom a mail-in ballot was mailed or otherwise provided and keep a record of the date on which, and the addresses to which, each mail-in ballot was mailed.

    5.2 The electoral officer shall establish at least one polling place in the community.

  6. The electoral officer shall procure or cause to be procured as many ballot boxes as there are polling places, and shall cause to be prepared a sufficient number of ballot papers for the purpose of the election.

  7. The electoral officer shall, before the poll is open, cause to be delivered to his deputy the ballot papers, materials for marking the ballot papers, and a sufficient number of directions-for-voting as may be prescribed.

  8. The electoral officer or his deputy shall provide a compartment at each polling place where the electors can mark their ballot papers free from observation, and he may appoint a constable to maintain order at such polling place.

  9. Polling places shall be kept open from 9:00 a.m., local time, until 8:00 p.m., local time, on the day of the election.

  10. A candidate shall be entitled to not more than two agents in a polling place at any one time.

  11. The electoral officer or his deputy shall, immediately before the commencement of the poll, open the ballot box and call such persons as may be present to witness that it is empty; he shall then lock and properly seal the box to prevent it being opened without breaking the seal and shall place it in view for the reception of the ballots, and the seal shall not be broken nor the box unlocked during the time appointed for taking the poll.

Section III

Mail-In Ballots

A registered voter who resides outside of the community or who resides in the community and who is not able to visit a voting station on voting day may cast a ballot by mail.

The electoral officer shall send a pre-folded and initialed "mail-in Ballot " for mail-in, an "Identification Envelope" (Form 6), a secrecy envelope, an addressed return envelope and voting instructions to each registered voter who:

i)                    is resident living outside of the community; or

ii)                   advises the electoral officer that the person is not able to visit a voting station on voting day.

An eligible voter who calls the electoral officer and confirms his or her intent to register to the satisfaction of the electoral officer shall be sent a "Registration Card", a mail-in ballot and the necessary envelopes, the election documents and a summary of the election documents.

Sub-section B

 When casting a mail-in ballot, a registered voter must:

  1. mark the ballot by placing a cross, check mark or other mark, that clearly indicates the elector's choice but does not identify the elector, opposite the name of the candidate or candidates for whom he or she desires to vote;

  2. enclose and seal the "Ballot " inside the secrecy envelope;

  3. enclose and seal the secrecy envelope inside the "Identification Envelope";

  4. sign the outside of the "Identification Envelope";

  5. enclose and seal the "Identification Envelope" inside a self-addressed return mailing envelope; and

  6. send the sealed self-addressed mailing envelope to the electoral officer.

  7. To be counted, the electoral officer must receive a mail-in ballot by the close of the polls on voting day.

  8. After receiving a mail-in ballot, the electoral officer shall, in the presence of two or more registered voters:

  9. verify each "Identification Envelope" and that the sender is a registered voter;

  10. check the list of registered voters to ensure that the registered voter has not already voted and place a line through the name of the registered voter on that list of registered voters;

  11. record the date and time the mail-in ballot was received on the list of registered voters; and

  12. deposit the mail-in ballot in its original unopened secrecy envelope in a separate ballot box kept for this purpose or, if the voter is not a registered voter or has already voted, reject the mail-in ballot.

  13. The electoral officer is personally responsible for the safekeeping of the mail-in ballot box and shall ensure that this ballot box remains sealed when not in use and is not opened until such time as the ballots are deposited in the regular ballot box after the close of the election vote on the voting day.

  14. The electoral officer shall execute a "Declaration of electoral officer" and ensure that it is witnessed (Form 7).

 

 

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