April 29, 1901

CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I would point out that under section 79 it is provided that any person who tampers with the ballots is guilty of an indictable offence and, if a returning officer, is liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000 and not less than $300, and to imprisonment for not less than five years.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

I had forgotten that. Perhaps my hon. friend from Prince Edward Island (Mr. Hackett) will consider also section 79, which seems to be a sort of omnibus clause that meets almost every case.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

I cannot see it in the same light as the Solicitor General does. In the case I speak of, the ballot box was opened on the train between Alberton and Summerside. The remains of the box were found covering a distance of two or three hundred yards along the line of railway. The theft occurred at night, and the thief who got into the baggage car knew where the box was located and broke it open. It is not known what he did with the contents. But he threw the broken box outside. The section foreman told me that he had found the bottom of the box about ten yards from the track near the fence at a telegraph post. He found the top of the box half way from there to the next telegraph pole, and

the sides of it at the next telegraph poleshowing that the robber broke the box open on the train. It is evident that his object was to deprive the electors of West Prince of the services of the man whom they had elected on the 7th of November last. I want to hold the returning officer responsible in such cases. If we could find the thief, there would be no difficulty in punishing him. But if you provide in the statute that the returning officer shall be responsible and shall be liable to a penalty or imprisonment if he does not produce these ballots before the judge by whom they are demanded for recount, fewer of these things will occur. The returning officer, instead of watching the ballot boxes from Summerside to Tig-nish, shipped them as freight and he went into the rear car and sat down at his ease for the three or four hours of the trip, leaving the ballot boxes, upon which the most sacred rights of the people of West Prince depended, at the mercy of robbers. I wish to have something to safeguard the ballots of the people and to guarantee that they shall not get into the hands of careless men and to punish those who do not perform their duties.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

There is no fair distinction in this case between the man who broke the ballot boxes and those who afforded him the chance to do so. The deputy returning officer in charge of the ballot boxes should be held to strict account, and if, by carelessness, he allows the ballot boxes to fall into the hands of others who destroy them, his punishment should be as great as if he destroyed them himself. Now, it may be difficult to adopt such language as will meet the case without having more in it than you intend, without reaching an innocent man.

On section 10,

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

I think there is a mistake here with respect to the back of the ballot paper. It would appear as if the returning officer's number, that is the poll book number, would be on the back of the ballot. I think we ought ito arrange so that there would be a perforated line separating the counterfoil from the ballot, and that the poll book number should not be on the ballot under any circumstances.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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CON

Matthew Henry Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

Where is it intended to have the counterfoil on that ballot ?

The SOLICITOR GENERAL. The

counterfoil should be to the left of the black line. The black space will be the counterfoil.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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CON

Matthew Henry Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

Why not put the

counterfoil at the right hand ? I think that would be more convenient.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

That is a suggestion. You avoid the difficulty that

might occur with respect to tearing the ballot by having it on the right. The advantage would be that in tearing off the counterfoil the ballot would remain intact.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Does the hon. gentleman mean that it would be tom off the right-hand side of the ballot ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

Yes, no matter which side it is on.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

It would be possible to tear off the end of the ballot, because that is the end it is on.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

That is

true, I think we had better leave it as it

is. In other respects, I think the ballot is a fairly good one.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I did not quite understand what is the meaning of the broad black mark in the form of ballot provided by section 10.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

The object is to restrict the space area in which the cross shall be put. On the back of that counterfoil are to be put the number corresponding with the number on the stub, and also the number corresponding with the number in the poll book for identification purposes, so there is no chance of the elector putting his mark there. You have eliminated all chance of putting the mark anywhere except within the line.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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CON

Matthew Henry Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

The counterfoil will be relatively wider than that black space.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

I apprehend it would be if we put the numbers on

it. There is no provision anywhere in the law as to the size of the ballot. The King's Printer gets out a stereotype from which they are printed, and that regulates the size of the ballot paper.

On section 11,

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

This section relates to an amendment which I believe is being proposed in regard to the Franchise Act. It seems to me that it would be well to defer action upon that.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

I would like to hear what is to be said about it. It has no reference to the amendment to the Franchise Act suggested by the hon. member for Halton (Mr. Henderson), because it is form T that he wants to amend. That is for a voter whose name is not on the list. I am quite willing, when we talk it over, to allow it to remain. The intention is merely to correct the heading, which is misleading.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

This is the oath that may be taken by a person who is disqualified under the provincial Act, but who goes to the polling booth and takes the oath necessary to entitle him to vote under the Dominion Elections Act.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

It is open to any voter.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
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April 29, 1901