Elections Canada

Elections Canada

March 10, 2008 11:56 ET

Important Reminders for Media on Election Day, Monday, March 17, 2008

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 10, 2008) - The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Marc Mayrand, would like to remind the media of provisions in the Canada Elections Act.

"On March 17, the day of the by-elections, the media must be mindful not to publish election advertising or the results of election opinion surveys that have not already been transmitted to the public prior to the close of polls. This is part of the Act and applies to all media, including the Internet," stated Mr. Mayrand. "In addition, you should remember that the blackout period for advertising on election day applies to candidates, registered political parties and third parties."

Staggered voting hours are in effect at these by-elections so that the majority of results will be available at approximately the same time. Polls will close at the following local times:

- Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River (Saskatchewan) - 7:30 p.m.

- Toronto Centre (Ontario) and Willowdale (Ontario) - 9:30 p.m.

- Vancouver Quadra (British Columbia) - 7:00 p.m.

Until polling stations close, there is a ban on disseminating results and the following information:

- election advertising (section 323 of the Canada Elections Act)

- results of election opinion surveys not previously released (section 328)

This ban applies to all media. Election advertising posted to the public on the Internet before election day need not be withdrawn, but it cannot be amended once the blackout period has begun. The blackout does not apply to the distribution of pamphlets or the posting of messages on signs, posters or banners.

Media representatives and the general public are not permitted at polling stations or in the local Elections Canada offices to film or broadcast voting by electors. Nor can any returning officer or poll official permit such filming or broadcasting. This rule applies even if an elector consents to being filmed. This is meant to allow the electoral process to take place in a manner that allows individual voters to solemnly consider and cast their vote in private, without distraction, disruption or delay.

Federal by-elections will be held in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, Toronto Centre, Vancouver Quadra and Willowdale on Monday, March 17, 2008.

IMPORTANT!

All electors must meet new voter identification requirements. For more information on the options available to electors, visit www.elections.ca.

Elections Canada is an independent body set up by Parliament.

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