Ensuring Integrity in Ontario Elections Act, 2011, S.O. 2011, c. 17 - Bill 196Skip to content
This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 196 and does not form part of the law. Bill 196 has been enacted as Chapter 17 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2011.
The Bill amends the Election Act to add new sections 96.2 and 96.3. Section 96.2 prohibits interference with voting. Section 96.3 prohibits impersonation of electoral officials, candidates and persons authorized to act on behalf of candidates, parties and constituency associations.
Several offences under the Act, including the ones described in new sections 96.2 and 96.3, constitute “corrupt practices” if committed knowingly. The existing penalty for a person who is found guilty of a corrupt practice is a fine of not more than $5,000, imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both. The maximum fine for a corrupt practice is increased to $25,000 and the maximum term of imprisonment to two years less a day.
An Act to amend the Election Act with respect to certain electoral practices
Assented to June 1, 2011
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
Improper voting by special ballot, etc.
91. Every person who does any of the following is guilty of a corrupt practice and liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day, or to both:
. . . . .
Wilful miscount of ballots
92. Every deputy returning officer or poll clerk who wilfully miscounts the ballots or otherwise wilfully makes up a false statement of the poll is guilty of a corrupt practice and is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day, or to both.
Interference with exercise of vote
96.2 (1) A person who, inside or outside Ontario, prevents another person from voting or impedes or otherwise interferes with the person’s exercise of the vote is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000.
Party to offence
(2) A person who, inside or outside Ontario, does anything for the purpose of aiding another person to commit the offence described in subsection (1), abets another person in committing it, or counsels or procures another person to commit it is a party to the offence.
96.3 A person who, inside or outside Ontario, falsely represents himself or herself to be any of the following is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000:
1. An employee or agent of the office of the Chief Electoral Officer.
2. A person appointed under this Act.
3. A candidate or a person who is authorized by the candidate to act on his or her behalf.
4. A person who is authorized by a registered party or registered constituency association to act on its behalf.
97.1 If, when a person is convicted of an offence under section 90, 94, 95, 96, 96.1, 96.2 or 96.3, the presiding judge finds that the offence was committed knowingly, the person is also guilty of a corrupt practice and is liable to one or both of the following:
1. A fine of not more than $25,000, instead of the fine that would otherwise apply.
2. Imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day.
(2) Section 1 comes into force on July 1, 2011.