Elections Complaints Process
By-Law 17.3.2 states that the Elections Committee is responsible for the Conduct of elections and must fully investigate and rule on the propriety of any election activity undertaken by a candidate or supporter. Corrective actions include but are not limited to declaring the election, or any candidacy to be null and void, as well as removing the right to vote from a member.
A member making an election complaint must complete the new Elections Complaint Form – see attachment A below. If a complaint is received without the required form, the person filing the complaint will be advised that the required form has to be completed before the committee will address their complaint.
- The complaint will be shared with the respondent in order to give him/her an opportunity to respond. Specific time deadline to respond will be given to the respondent.
- An investigation of the situation will be done by the Elections Committee in order to verify the facts. All evidence collected by the Elections Committee must be documented.
- The Elections Committee can conduct interviews with the complainant, the respondent or any identified witnesses. It is important that the person contacted have direct knowledge of the situation.
- The Elections committee can collect evidence such as notes, emails or any other available documents.
- After honest efforts to get to the truth, the Committee will make a decision on the validity of the complaint. The Elections Committee will determine if the actions constitute misconduct in the elections and which rule is being violated.
- Any complaints deemed to be malicious, frivolous or vexatious could be found to be in violation of the elections procedures.
- In the event a complaint is unfounded, it could mean action against the complainant.
- Once a decision is made, the Elections Committee will determine what corrective actions will be applied. The Elections Committee will consider prior complaints, past practices, the severity of the actions, any mitigating factors, and put all these elements together to determine what’s fair. It is important to be objective, non-bias, and to avoid jumping to conclusions.
- The final decision of the Elections Committee will be communicated in writing to both the complainant and the respondent.
- Decisions made by the Elections Committee can be appealed by those parties directly affected by the complaint.
By-Laws state it is still possible to file a complaint up to 30 days following the election. When a complaint comes in, the Elections Committee must come together quickly because the effect may have an outcome on the election.
PIPSC staff resources will assist the Elections Committee in resolving any complaint.