217. (1) The returning officer, as soon as he receives the ballot boxes, shall open them publicly in the hall where the council holds its sittings and forthwith add up the number of votes given for each candidate, from the statements of the poll prepared and placed in such boxes by the deputy returning officers.
(2) If, at the addition of the votes, the returning officer fail to find a statement of the poll in a ballot box which has been used for the voting, he may open the large envelope deposited therein by the deputy returning officer, and remove therefrom the statement of the poll which has been placed therein in error. Nevertheless, the returning officer shall not, for any reason whatsoever, open the envelopes containing the ballot papers, and, as soon as he has completed his search, he shall replace the contents of the large envelope (except the statement of the poll) in a new envelope, which shall be sealed with his seal and with the seals of those present who desire to affix the same.
(3) The candidate who, upon such addition, is found to have obtained the greatest number of the votes, shall receive from the returning officer a certificate to that effect; the returning officer, upon the expiration of the delay provided for in section 223 if the application contemplated in section 222 has not been made, or upon receipt of the certificate contemplated in section 235 if the application has been made and granted, shall forthwith give such candidate a special notice of his election.
If the application contemplated in section 222 is dismissed, the returning officer shall give the special notice as soon as he is informed of the dismissal.