conduct of the election
The 2023 Bencher election will be conducted in accordance with thatLaw on the Bar Associationand Article 3 made in accordance withLaw on the Bar Association. The election will be conducted online and by telephone in French and English.
The Law Society has hired Computershare, a third party company, to conduct the election.
Voting information will be posted to each eligible voter's Law Society Portal account by the third week of April 2023. Computershare will also email voting information to all eligible voters at this time.
Computershare randomly assigns each eligible voter a unique personal voter identification number called a tracking number. The control number is required for access to the Internet voting system and the telephone voting system.
Persons who are Law Society bar and bar license holders as of April 12, 2023 and whose licenses have not been suspended are entitled to vote in the Bencher election.
Attorney license holders vote for paralegal candidates and paralegal license holders for paralegal candidates.
The Law Society will publish a voting guide to provide voters with information about the candidates running in the Bencher election. Candidates prepare and provide their biographies and election statements, which reflect only their views.
Separate voting guides are published for the paralegals and paralegals.
Bar candidates - regional election program
Forty legal bankers are elected - 20 from within Toronto and 20 from outside Toronto. Eight of the 40 lawyer benchers are elected as regional benchers. The regional bencher is the candidate attorney in each region who receives the most votes from the attorney voters in that region. The regional bencher's business address must be within that constituency at the time of the election.
For the election of the bar examiners, the province is divided into eight constituencies. The eight constituencies are as follows:
- Constituency of the City of Toronto
- Northwest (NW) constituency- Consisting of the territorial districts of Kenora, Rainy River and Thunder Bay.
- Electoral District Northeast (NE)- Consists of the territorial districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Sudbury and Timiskaming.
- Constituency East (E)- composed of the counties of Frontenac, Hastings, Lanark, Lennox and Addington, Prince Edward and Renfrew, the combined counties of Leeds and Grenville, Prescott and Russell and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and the city of Ottawa.
- Electoral region Central East (CE)- Consisting of the district parish of Muskoka, the counties of Haliburton, Northumberland, Peterborough and Simcoe, the city of Kawartha Lakes and the regional parishes of Durham and York.
- Central West (CW) Electoral Region- Consisting of Bruce, Dufferin, Gray and Wellington counties and the regional parishes of Halton and Peel.
- Central-South electoral region (CS)- composed of the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk, the regional parishes of Niagara and Waterloo and the city of Hamilton.
- Southwest (SW) constituency- Consisting of the counties of Elgin, Essex, Huron, Lambton, Middlesex, Oxford and Perth and the parish of Chatham-Kent.
The region of the paralegal is identified on the paralegal ballot by a notation after the paralegal's name. A list of candidate attorneys from each region is provided in the voting guide.
Five paralegals are elected nationally.
In the third week of April 2023, voting instructions and each eligible voter's tracking number will be posted to their Law Society Portal account. Computershare will also email this information to all eligible voters at this time. The information allows voters to access the voting website, online internet voting system, telephone voting system and online voting guides. As mentioned above, the tracking number is required to access the election website. The voting instructions contain detailed information on online and telephone voting.
Eligible voters who do not receive their tracking number must contact Computershare. Attorneys should call 1-888-344-2805 or 514-982-2391 outside of Canada or the United States, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Paralegals should call 1-866-301-2518 or 514-982-8711 outside of Canada or the United States, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Voters will be asked to provide their bar licensee number and other personal identifiers to obtain their tracking number.
On the day voting opens online, voters go to the election website via the link provided by Computershare, where they are asked to enter their tracking number to access the election website. Once 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 attorneys can access the paralegal ballot and vote for paralegals, and only paralegals can access the paralegal ballot and vote for paralegals.
The ballot for attorney voters is divided into two sections. One section lists candidates from Toronto. The other section lists candidates from outside of Toronto. Voters can cast a total of 40 votes -- 20 votes for attorney candidates within Toronto and 20 votes for attorney candidates outside of Toronto. Voters do not have to cast all 40 votes, but the voting system does not allow voters to vote for more than 20 candidates in the inside Toronto section of the ballot and 20 candidates in the outside Toronto section of the ballot.
The Paralegal Voter Ballot lists paralegal candidates from all parts of Ontario. Voters can cast a total of five votes. Voters do not have to cast all five votes, but the voting system does not allow voters to vote for more than five candidates.
Voters select candidates by clicking on the boxes next to the candidates' names. Voters can only vote for a candidate once. Voters can only cast their vote once.
Once the voters have made their selection, the voters click the Submit button. Voters are then prompted to review their choices and make any changes they want before finally casting their votes. Once the votes are cast, voters will receive a confirmation message that their votes have been cast.
To vote by telephone, voters call the special voting telephone number. Once connected, voters will be prompted to enter their tracking number to access the voting system. Voters are prompted to select the candidates of their choice by entering the two-digit numeric code that appears next to each candidate's name in the voting guide.
For attorney voters, the system does not allow voters to vote for more than 20 attorney candidates within Toronto or more than 20 attorney candidates outside of Toronto. Once voters have selected candidates from both inside and outside of Toronto, the system will review their choices and ask voters to confirm them before votes are recorded.
For paralegals, the system does not allow voters to vote for more than five paralegals. Once voters have completed candidate selection, the system reviews their choices and asks voters to confirm them before votes are recorded.
The deadline for voting is April 28, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. SUMMERTIME. The Internet voting system and the telephone voting system will be switched off at exactly 5 p.m. EDT on April 28, 2023.
Counting of the votes and announcement of the results
The counting of votes will be completed after 5 p.m. EDT on April 28, 2023.
Candidate attorneys from each region who receive the most votes from attorney voters in that region are declared regional benchers. The remaining 32 barristers will be the 13 non-Toronto bar candidates receiving the most votes from all the bar electors and the 19 Toronto bar candidates receiving the most votes from all the bar electors.
The paralegals are the five paralegals receiving the most votes from all paralegals voters.
Election results will be announced on May 1, 2023 via press release and on the Law Society's website atLSO.caafter the counting and listing of the votes has been completed.
For more information, please contact the Law Society at 416-947-3404, 1-877-947-3404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.