2015 Bencher Election: Voting Procedures

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Conduct of Election

The 2015 Bencher Election will be conducted in accordance with the Law Society Act and By-Law 3 made pursuant to the Law Society Act. The election will be conducted entirely online in both French and English.

The Law Society has hired Computershare, a third party company, to conduct the election.

Computershare will provide voting information to all eligible voters during the second week of April, 2015 by email and regular mail.

Voter Anonymity

Computershare will randomly assign a personal identification number to every eligible voter. This control number is a personal voter identification number. Only Computershare knows the control numbers assigned to eligible voters. The control number is required to access the internet voting system.

Voters who do not receive, or who lose or delete, their control number must contact Computershare at 1-888-344-2805 or 514-982-2391 if outside Canada or the United States. Voters will be asked to provide their licensee number and other personal identifiers to receive their control number.

Eligible Voters

People who, on April 7, 2015, are lawyer licensees licensed by the Law Society whose licences have not been suspended are eligible to vote in the bencher election.

Candidate Information

The Law Society of Upper Canada will publish a Voting Guide to provide voters with information about the candidates running in the bencher election. The candidates provide their biographies and election statements, which reflect their views only.

Regional Election Scheme

Forty benchers will be elected - 20 from inside Toronto and 20 from outside Toronto. Of the 40 benchers, eight will be elected as regional benchers. The regional bencher is the candidate within each region who receives the most votes from voters in that region. The business address of the regional bencher must be within that electoral region at the time of the election.

For the purposes of the election, the province is divided into eight electoral regions. The eight electoral regions are as follows:

  • City of Toronto Electoral Region
  • Northwest Electoral Region (NW) - composed of the territorial districts of Kenora, Rainy River, and Thunder Bay.
  • Northeast Electoral Region (NE) - composed of the territorial districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Sudbury, and Timiskaming.
  • East Electoral Region (E) - composed of the counties of Frontenac, Hastings, Lanark, Lennox and Addington, Prince Edward and Renfrew, the united counties of Leeds and Grenville, Prescott and Russell and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, and the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton.
  • Central East Electoral Region (CE) - composed of the District Municipality of Muskoka, the counties of Haliburton, Northumberland, Peterborough, Simcoe and Victoria, and the regional municipalities of Durham, and York.
  • Central West Electoral Region (CW) - composed of the counties of Bruce, Dufferin, Grey and Wellington, and the regional municipalities of Halton and Peel.
  • Central South Electoral Region (CS) - composed of the County of Brant, and the regional municipalities of Haldimand-Norfolk, Hamilton-Wentworth, Niagara, and Waterloo.
  • Southwest Electoral Region (SW) - composed of the counties of Elgin, Essex, Huron, Kent, Lambton, Middlesex, Oxford, and Perth.

The candidate’s region is identified on the ballot by a notation after the candidate’s name.  A list of the candidates from each region will be provided in the Voting Guide.

Casting Votes

During the second week in April 2015, all eligible voters will receive an email from Computershare that will include voting instructions and the control number for each voter. This information will also be provided to eligible voters in a letter by regular mail. As noted above, this control number is required to access the election website and the internet voting system. The email and letter will provide voters with access to the online internet voting system and the online Voting Guide. The voting instructions will provide detailed information on how to vote online.

On the day the election opens online, voters will go to the election website through the link provided by Computershare, where they will be prompted to enter their control number to access the voting site. Once they are logged into the system, the list of candidates will be displayed and voters will be instructed on how to vote online.

The ballot is separated into two sections. One section lists candidates from inside Toronto. The other section lists candidates from outside Toronto. Voters can cast 40 votes in total – 20 votes for candidates inside Toronto and 20 votes for candidates outside Toronto. Voters need not cast all 40 votes but the voting system will not permit voters to vote for more than 20 candidates in the section of ballot for inside Toronto and 20 candidates in the section of the ballot for outside of Toronto.

Voters select candidates by clicking the boxes next to the candidates’ names. Voters may only vote for a candidate once. Voters can submit their votes only once.

Once voters have made their selections, voters click the “Submit” button. Voters will then be prompted to review their selections and make any changes they want prior to final submission of their votes. Once the votes are submitted, voters will receive a confirmation message that their votes have been submitted.

Voting Deadline

The deadline for voting is April 30, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. The internet voting system will shut down at precisely 5:00 p.m. EDT on April 30, 2015.

Counting Votes and Announcement of Results

Counting of votes will be completed after 5:00 p.m. EDT on April 30, 2015. The candidates from each region who receive the most votes from voters in that region will be declared regional benchers. The remaining 32 benchers will be the 13 candidates from outside Toronto who receive the most votes from all voters and the 19 candidates from inside Toronto who receive the most votes from all voters.

The election results will be announced by press release and on the Law Society’s web site at www.lsuc.on.ca once the counting and tabulation of votes has been completed.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Law Society at 416-947-3404, 1-877-947-3404 or by e-mail at bencherelection@lsuc.on.ca