CEO GE28 Communique #1 to Chief Official Agents

From:

Dr. Michael Boda

Chief Electoral Officer

Province of Saskatchewan

 

Date: January 22, 2016

To:

Chief Official Agents

Registered Political Parties of Saskatchewan

 

 

 

GE28 Communique #1

 

Re:

Use of CEO’s Powers Under Section 7 of The

Election Act, 1996 and other items

 

With less than three months until the April 4 General Election, I plan to be in more frequent contact via our now-established communique mechanism with you, as Chief Official Agents. As you would expect, my communication through this approach will become increasingly frequent as we move closer to April 4.

As we did for the Lloydminster By-Election in November 2014, my “GE28 Communiques” will be distributed via email to you as Chief Official Agents, but they will also be placed on our event website here:  http://www.elections.sk.ca/GE28Communiques. I would encourage you to bookmark this location.

Following are a few items that I would like to share with you this week.

    • Section 7 Powers: Under Section 9 of The Election Act, 1996 a returning officer must reside within the constituency that they represent. As you will know, it is not always possible for this to happen. With this in mind, I have used my authority under Section 7 of the Act to confirm Ms. Judy Bishop’s appointment as returning officer for the constituency of Cut Knife – Turtleford. Judy applied for and was hired as returning officer when she lived within the constituency, but subsequently moved just outside of the boundary. After this happened, we did advertise the position within the constituency to see if there was interest, but did not find a suitable candidate. With the election approaching, I have decided Judy, who is very familiar with the area, is best equipped to serve the residents of Cut Knife – Turtleford as returning officer. Please accept this as notice pursuant to section 7(3)(a) of the Act.
    • Election Calendar: Attached is a preliminary version of the 2016 election calendar. Once the writs of election have been issued and all of the relevant dates have been finalized, I will forward you an updated version. For now, I hope this aids in your planning – if you would like hard copies, please contact my office and we would be happy to provide you with them.
    • Polling locations: A preliminary list of all polling locations in use for the 28th General Election will be available the week of February 15. We would be pleased to share these preliminary poll locations with you, but this information will not be made public until after the writs of election are issued and we would ask that you do not share these locations beyond your party until we make them official. If you are interested in receiving an electronic copy of the preliminary poll locations, email Jennifer Colin at Jennifer.Colin@elections.sk.ca.
    • Assessment activities: In my time as Chief Electoral Officer, I have been proactive in engaging with the Chief Official Agents of the province’s registered political parties. You, and your parties, are key stakeholders for all of us at Elections Saskatchewan. I have also been intentional in stressing the need for continuous improvement as an election management body. A major component of improvement is gathering data that will help us understand the job we have done.
    • For the past year, I have led a project will allow us to meaningfully understand various aspects of Elections Saskatchewan’s administration of the 28th General Election. There will be a variety of survey activities, on-the-ground observations, and statistical measurements. As key stakeholders, I am interested in soliciting feedback from all of you and also from your candidates and business managers. This is a key component of the planning that will lead Elections Saskatchewan into the province’s 29th electoral cycle and I hope that all of you will be active participants. I will offer more detailed information in the weeks ahead.

    • 2016 Expense Limits: The calculations for the annual political party and candidate expense limits are now available and have been posted on our website at http://www.elections.sk.ca/expenselimits.
    • E-521 Fiscal Period Returns: The E-521 Registered Political Party’s Fiscal Period Return has been updated and added to our website. Please note that the E-521 package includes the E-522 declaration that the Chief Official Agent must submit alongside the return. You can find that form, and all others at http://www.elections.sk.ca/candidates-political-parties/forms-and-guides/. This return must be submitted by May 2, 2016. For your convenience, I have attached the form as well.

As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.