VOTING PROCEDURES FOR THE 2019 BENCHER ELECTION
Conduct of Election
The 2019 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 by online and telephone voting 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, 2019 by email. The voting information will also be posted to each eligible voter’s Law Society Portal account at that time.
Computershare will randomly assign a personal identification number to every eligible voter. This control number is a unique personal voter identification number that Computershare assigns to each eligible voter. The control number is required to access the internet voting system and the telephone voting system.
People who, on April 5, 2019, are lawyer and paralegal licensees licensed by the Law Society whose licences have not been suspended are eligible to vote in the bencher election.
Lawyer licensees vote for lawyer candidates and paralegal licensees vote for paralegal candidates.
The Law Society 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.
Separate Voting Guides will be produced for the lawyer candidates and the paralegal candidates.
Lawyer Candidates - Regional Election Scheme
Forty lawyer benchers will be elected - 20 from inside Toronto and 20 from outside Toronto. Of the 40 lawyer benchers, eight will be elected as regional benchers. The regional bencher is the lawyer candidate within each region who receives the most votes from lawyer 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 of lawyer benchers, 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 lawyer candidate’s region is identified on the ballot listing lawyer candidates by a notation after the candidate’s name. A list of the lawyer candidates from each region will be provided in the Voting Guide.
Five paralegals will be elected province-wide.
During the second week in April 2019, 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 posted to each eligible voter’s Law Society Portal account.
As noted above, this control number is required to access the election website and the internet voting system and the telephone voting system. The email and Portal posting will provide voters with access to the online internet voting system and the online Voting Guide and the telephone voting system. The voting instructions will provide detailed information on how to vote online and by telephone.
Voters who do not receive, or who lose or delete, their control number must contact Computershare. Lawyers should call 1-888-344-2805 or 514-982-2391 if outside Canada or the United States, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Paralegals should call 1-866-301-2518 or 514-982-8711 if outside of Canada or the United States, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Voters will be asked to provide their licensee number and other personal identifiers to receive their control number.
Voting by Internet
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.
There are separate ballots for lawyers and paralegals. Only lawyers can access the ballot for lawyer candidates and vote for lawyer candidates, and only paralegals can access the ballot for paralegal candidates and vote for paralegal candidates.
The ballot for lawyer voters 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 lawyer candidates inside Toronto and 20 votes for lawyer 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.
The ballot for paralegal voters lists candidates from all parts of Ontario. Voters can cast five votes in total. Voters need not cast all five votes but the voting system will not permit voters to vote for more than five candidates.
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 by Telephone
To vote by telephone, voters will call the dedicated election telephone number. Once connected, voters will be prompted to enter their control number to access the voting system. Voters will be prompted to select the candidates of their choice by entering the two-digit numeric code that appears beside each candidate’s name in the Voting Guide.
For lawyer voters, the system will not permit voters to vote for more than 20 inside Toronto lawyer candidates or more than 20 outside Toronto lawyer candidates. Once voters have finished selecting both the inside and outside Toronto candidates, the system will review their selections and ask voters to confirm them before recording the votes.
For paralegal voters, the system will not permit voters to vote for more than five paralegal candidates. Once voters have finished selecting candidates, the system will review their selections and ask voters to confirm them before recording the votes.
The deadline for voting is April 30, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. The internet voting system and telephone voting system will shut down at precisely 5:00 p.m. EDT on April 30, 2019.
Counting Votes and Announcement of Results
Counting of votes will be completed after 5:00 p.m. EDT on April 30, 2019. The lawyer candidates from each region who receive the most votes from voters in that region will be declared regional benchers. The remaining 32 lawyer 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 paralegal benchers will be the five paralegal candidates receiving the most votes from all paralegal voters.
The election results will be announced by press release and on the Law Society’s web site at www.lso.ca once the counting and tabulation of votes has been completed.
For more information, please contact the Law Society at 416-947-3404, 1-877-947-3404 or by e-mail at email@example.com