No doubt like yours, our office is a hive of activity today as we are in the midst of issuing the writs of election. As we move into the writ period, know that our entire team at Elections Saskatchewan is here to offer you comprehensive support. We know well that the efforts of your candidates, volunteers and supporters represent the very best of Saskatchewan’s democratic traditions.
Writs of election issued
Earlier today, I received an order from the Lieutenant Governor in Council instructing me to issue the writs of election. As I write this, that process is underway – in one small step towards modernizing the electoral process, we are scanning and emailing a copy of the official writ of election to all of our returning officers across the province. Tomorrow morning, the actual writs will be picked up and couriered to all of our returning offices – sending the document by email allows our ROs to begin the election process, but also means that I can rely on less-expensive shipping methods to send the physical document.
Returning office locations
Attached is a document that lists office addresses and contact information for all of our 61 returning offices. Now that the election has been officially called, these returning offices will open to serve voters, candidates and business managers in the hours ahead. All 61 Returning offices are to be open the following hours throughout the election period (all times listed are Central Standard Time):
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Thursday – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Saturday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sunday – closed
I also want to ensure that you are all aware that all returning offices across the province will be closed on Good Friday, March 25. Staff will be available by phone at our head office to offer any assistance that is required. I will offer a reminder on this closer to the Easter weekend.
In late January, I sent you a copy of the election calendar, but there were some dates that were still unknown. Attached is an updated calendar. If you would like hard copies, contact Richard Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 306.570.8657.
You will notice that Nomination Day has been set as Saturday, March 19. All of you will know that candidate nominations must be accepted by 2 p.m. CST on Nomination Day and legislation does not allow for any extensions to this. I would suggest that you encourage all of your candidates to file their nomination packages early and to contact their returning officer well in advance of nomination day in order to set up an appointment to review the package and to clarify any questions.
Throughout the writ period, we will be updating our online list of officially nominated candidates once per day. You will be able to find that list at www.elections.sk.ca/candidates.
Attached is an updated list of the polling locations that will be in use for the coming election. On February 19, I sent you a draft version of this document. With the issuing of the writs, these locations will become public knowledge on our proclamations and on our “Where do I Vote?” application so please feel free to communicate these with your candidates and volunteers. If changes are made at this point, we will formally notify you via a communique.
Updates to Register of Political Parties
On February 19, I offered a quick reminder of the need to update (or confirm) the information contained in the register of political parties within ten days of the writs of election being issued (this requirement can be found in Section 226 of The Election Act, 1996). This is also an opportunity for your leader to designate a representative to endorse candidates for the election, if they wish to do so. The deadline for this is March 18.
As always, please do not hesitate to be in touch should you have any questions or need clarification. Best wishes in the days ahead.