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Bill C-431

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The purpose of this enactment is to ensure that elections under the Indian Act are free and fair, that the principles of the Canada Elections Act are followed, as well as secrecy of voting. It also provides for the supervision of elections of Indian band and first nations chiefs and councils by officials from the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer. The officials report to the Chief Electoral Officer on the propriety of each election.

In addition to providing advice, the elections supervisor may receive and investigate complaints of improper election procedures or practices. Their findings on complaints are included in the report to the Chief Electoral Officer.

If the Chief Electoral Officer is of the opinion that the election was not free and fair and conducted substantially in accordance with the law, this must be reported to the Minister, who must immediately lay the report before Parliament. The report is then automatically referred to the appropriate standing committee of the House of Commons.

There is a requirement for a special report by the Chief Electoral Officer on the first 5 years with respect to the general operation of the supervision process under the Act and on the elections supervised during the period.

The provision for supervision expires after 10 years.