Elections Office outlines Municipal Elections Act ballot recount procedure

The City of Kingston's Elections Office is aware that reports of vote recounts in the Loyalist-Cataraqui district for the 2022 Municipal Elections have been shared in the media. The Elections Office wishes to clarify that as of 11 a.m., Oct. 26, the Superior Court of Justice, which would direct the City to conduct a recount if an application has been made by an elector to the court, has not asked the City to do so. 

Recounts are governed by the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 starting at Section 56, which contains information about timelines and procedures. Any recounts would be conducted in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act and regulations: 

  • Section 56(1)(a) requests the Clerk to hold a recount of the votes for two or more candidates who receive the same number of votes and cannot both or all be declared elected to office. This is not the case in the Loyalist-Cataraqui district, and therefore, no recount is required under legislation. 

The Act outlines the following procedure if an eligible elector wishes to make an application for order to recount: 

  • Section 58(1) states that a person who is entitled to vote in an election and has reasonable grounds for believing the election results to be in doubt may apply to the Superior Court of Justice for an order that the Clerk hold a recount. 

  • Section 58(2) requires that the application commence within 30 days after the Clerk’s declaration of the results of the election. The results of the 2022 Municipal Elections were certified on Tuesday, Oct. 25. 

  • Section 58(3) provides that if satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for it, the court shall make an order requiring the Clerk to hold a recount of the votes cast for all or specified candidates, on a by-law, or for all or specified answers to a question, and shall give the Clerk a copy of the order as soon as possible. 

  • Section 58(4) provides that the recount shall be held within 15 days after the day the Clerk receives a copy of the order.