Must a Returning Officer wait for a candidate or a candidate’s agent to be present before counting ballots?

No, the Returning Officer does not have to wait for a candidate or an agent in order to start counting the ballots. The candidate has the right to be present or have an agent present during the counting but it is the candidate’s responsibility to have a presence at each polling station that they wish to be observed. A candidate may appoint one agent per polling station.

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