CEO GE28 Communique #4 to Chief Official Agents

From:

Dr. Michael Boda

Chief Electoral Officer

Province of Saskatchewan

 

Date: February 26, 2016

To:

Chief Official Agents

Registered Political Parties of Saskatchewan

 

 

 

GE28 Communique #4

 

Re:

Preliminary Voters Lists and ESK-RPP Communications

 

We are one week closer to the call of Saskatchewan’s 28th General Election! I know you are all very busy, so I will keep my message brief and pass along the following items of interest to you:     

·         Preliminary Voters Lists: The preliminary voters list will be available on March 1. As I communicated to you in my February 5 Communique, you can obtain the list in-person at our head office, or electronically over the Internet using a secure FTP site. I am reattaching the instructions on how to receive the list using FTP.

I am also attaching the E-293, Declaration to Protect the List of Voters. You will need to complete this form before the list will be provided to you. For your information, also attached is the E-295, Declaration to Secure the List of Electors.

·         Supplementary Form for Tracking Voters List Distribution: We had an inquiry as to how parties can meet the requirements found in point (c) on the E-293. That clause obligates the individual signing the E-293 to obtain agreement, in writing, from anyone they share voter information with, to protect the privacy and security of the information to the same extent as required by the declaration found in the E-293. I am attaching a form that your party can use for this purpose. If you already have suitable, comprehensive internal policies in place, you are not required to use this form.

·         Candidates Who Live Outside Constituency: You will know that candidates do not need to reside in the constituency in which they are running. Section 16(5) of The Election Act, 1996 allows candidates, as well as their spouse and dependents (who live with the candidate and are eligible voters), to be added to the voters list and to vote in the constituency in which the candidate is running.  Attached is the form that facilitates that process. Please note that Elections SK must receive this form by March 21 or we will be unable to process the change to the voters list.  If you have any questions about this process, please contact Jennifer Colin at jennifer.colin@elections.sk.ca.

·         Communication with Elections SK through the Writ Period: Last week, I promised to provide some information as to how you, your candidates and their business managers, can best communicate with ESK throughout the writ period. 

o   Candidates and Campaign Managers:  We ask that candidates and campaign managers be in touch directly with their local returning officer on nomination and poll-related issues. Once the writs have been issued, I will provide you with contact information for each of the 61 Returning Offices that you can distribute to your candidates and campaign managers. If issues cannot be resolved at that level, candidates and campaign managers should be in touch with Chief Official Agents. If necessary, Chief Officials Agents should be in touch with Jennifer Colin or me to address the issue.

o   Business Managers:  On political finance and advertising rules, or related issues, business managers should be in touch with ESK’s head office via our toll free number, 1.866.247.5404, or email at candidates@elections.sk.ca. This number and email address will be monitored by head office staff who will be well-equipped to answer detailed questions. 

o   Chief Official Agents:  As Chief Official Agents, I want you to have immediate access to Jennifer Colin and me during the writ period. Our strong preference will be hear directly from you as Chief Official Agent, instead of maintaining contact with a number of your officials. I will distribute our contact information via email in case you do not have it on hand.

Please know that we are being very intentional about instituting a disciplined approach to communicating with our stakeholders (voters and political parties alike) during the writ period. We want to provide the highest level of service possible. I would be grateful if you would communicate the approach outlined here to your teams. 

·         Saskatoon Boundary Line Issue: You will recall that back in December 2014 I presented all of you with an issue surrounding the boundary line that divides the constituencies of Saskatoon Silverspring-Sutherland and Saskatoon Willowgrove. At that time, we agreed that the boundary line would be left as is, and that the location of a home’s front door would be the criteria for allocating residents to one constituency or the other.

I wanted to follow-up with you all and let you know that we have taken the action promised in that letter. We will be hand-delivering letters to the affected homes that offer clarity on which constituency to vote in and one of our Supervisory Returning Officers will be available to answer questions that a voter may have. I am attaching a sample of one of the letters for your information. I would note that the problem was smaller than originally anticipated, there are at most seven properties that are affected and at least one of them is still a vacant lot. An updated map from mid-February is attached as well.

·         Upcoming: Following is a brief list of what to expect from ESK in the coming weeks. Some of these may be subject to change and are passed along at this point for your information only:

o   Writs of election: Between March 1 and March 8, I will receive an order from the Lieutenant Governor in Council instructing me to issue the writs of election. Upon receiving that order, I will be in contact with all of you through a communique.

o   Updated election calendar: The order I receive instructing me to issue the writs of election will also include key dates needed to finalize the election calendar. My communique announcing the election will include an updated election calendar.

o   Voter Information Cards (VICs): VICs will be printed and mailed after the election is called. Voters will begin receiving their VICs shortly after the election is called.

o   Proclamations: Following the election call, my office will begin printing proclamations for all 61 constituencies. As per Section 34(4)(a) of The Election Act, 1996 our returning officers will contact your candidates and arrange for delivery of these proclamations to their campaign offices.

o   Revised Voters Lists: Revised voters lists will be available on March 26. I will offer more information closer to that date.

As always, do not hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns.