We are less than 24 hours away from the start of advance voting in the Saskatoon Meewasin by-election. Below are a number of items of interest for the next few days.

Advance Voting Begins

Advance voting will begin tomorrow at 3 p.m. There are two advance voting locations:

  • Saskatoon Kinsmen/Henk Ruys Soccer Centre – 219 Primrose Drive, Saskatoon
  • Ramada Hotel – 806 Idylwyld Drive North, Saskatoon

The hours of advance voting are:

  • Friday, February 24, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 25, 12 noon to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 26, 12 noon to 7 p.m.
  • Monday, February 27, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 28, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

After each day of advance voting, my office will provide a running total of the number of voters who have cast their ballot at http://www.elections.sk.ca/voters/meewasin-by-election/advance-voting-turnout/.

All of us here at Elections Saskatchewan are curious to see whether the trend we saw during the April general election, where advance voters accounted for just over 25 percent of all votes cast, will continue. Based on other elections from within the province and across the country, I believe we will see a similar breakdown in voting patterns.

Observing Advance Voting – Chief Official Agents and Others

Earlier this week, I invited all of you to join me for dinner and to observe the advance polls—including our parallel process of testing electronic poll books—on the evening of Monday, February 27. Some of you have already confirmed your attendance with us. If you have not, please send a note to Joan Hayes via oceo.admin@elections.sk.ca or call her at 306.787.4290.  We plan to meet at Tony Roma’s, 125 Circle Drive in Saskatoon, at 6pm on Monday, February 27. After dinner, we will travel to the returning office and advance poll.

While observation is an important part of electoral best practice, please know that polling locations are not open to the general public while voting is taking place. All observers must have proper approval from the Chief Electoral Officer with them in order to enter a polling location. When we meet for dinner, I will bring the required authorization letters and provide them to you. I would also ask that you refrain from wearing party clothing or paraphernalia (buttons, hats, etc.) while we are in the polling location.

I also wanted to ensure that all of you were aware of two other groups that will be visiting the advance polls to observe the innovations that are being tested.

  • On Saturday, February 25, a group of Supervisory Returning Officers and other members of the Field Leadership Team will visit the polls. This group is getting together in Saskatoon for a day of training and orientation and will also take this opportunity to observe voting in real-time.
  • I will be also meeting with a group of City Clerks from across the province on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 28. Following that meeting, I will escort the clerks to an advance poll location and the returning office.

Final Expense Limits for By-Election

Voter registration for the by-election closed on Tuesday, February 21. Now that the number of names on the voters list is confirmed, the expense limits for both candidates and registered political parties can also be finalized.

By legislation, the expense limit for registered political parties for a by-election in a southern constituency is the greater of $48,819 or $3.92 * names on voters list. For candidates, the expense limit is the greater of $58,664 or $3.92 * names on voters list. There are 12,121 names on the voters list, which means that the set amount are the higher ones and will apply for the by-election.

To reiterate, the by-election expense limit for registered political parties is $48,819 and the by-election expense limit for candidates is $58,664.

Updated Voters List Available

Earlier today, we uploaded the voters list that will be used in the election to the ftp site for you to download. If you run into issues retrieving the file or with your account, please contact Son Lu, IT Analyst, at son.lu@elections.sk.ca or 306.533.9982.

Should you or your candidates encounter any issues during the advance voting period, please contact the returning office or our head office as needed. We look forward to serving you as well as our other stakeholders throughout this period.

Dr. Michael Boda
Chief Electoral Officer
Province of Saskatchewan

For additional information on the Saskatoon Meewasin by-election, including a link to all CEO Communiques, visit http://www.elections.sk.ca/voters/meewasin-by-election/.