April 12, 2016: Writ Period Bulletin for Field Leadership Team

This issue of the Writ Period Bulletin for Field Leadership Team includes articles on:

  • Message from the Chief Electoral Officer;
  • Reminder: Deadline for Receiving Absentee Ballots; and
  • Conducting the Final Count.

Message from the Chief Electoral Officer

While we remain well within the writ period, I want to extend my sincere thanks for your work on election day — a day when all of Saskatchewan was focused on our efforts to deliver the province’s most important democratic event.  As we look toward the final count on April 16, leading to the return of the writ on April 27, please know that our team at head office will continue to do our best to support your efforts, right up until the end.  I look forward to hearing more about your experiences in the field in the weeks and months ahead.  Thank you, again, for you all your efforts as you play an integral part in sustaining the democratic tradition of our province.

Reminder: Deadline for Receiving Absentee Ballots

On April 6, 2016 you received an issue of the Bulletin containing an article on the deadline for receiving absentee Ballots by mail.  As a reminder, that deadline is the time of day that the mail is delivered on Thursday, April 14th to your Returning Office. (Through post office box or personal delivery).  Please remember to close the absentee poll book following the procedures as outlined in the RO Manual, Section 13 found on pages 209 and 210 immediately after checking the mail on Thursday April 14th.

As always, if you have any questions regarding absentee ballots, please call the Support Desk at 1-866-249-7186 and select option 3.

Conducting the final count  

Twelve days after election day, Saturday, April 16 is the day fixed for the final count.  As per the date and time listed on the proclamation, final count begins at 9:00 a.m.

What is the final count?

  • This is the opening of the Absentee ballot box and the counting of these ballots following the procedures for count for the absentee poll as outlined in the RO Manual, Section 13 found on pages 211, 212 and 213. Please note the requirement for a second ballot box to complete the count for absentee ballots.
  • This is the opening of the returned HRT ballot box and the counting of these ballots following the procedures for count for hospitals, remand centre and temporarily displaced voter polls as outline in the RO Manual, Section 13 found on pages 214, 215 and 216. Please note the requirement for a second ballot box for counting these ballots. 
  • The results of the ballots that were counted by DROs and PCs after the polls closed are reviewed. These ballots are not counted again during the final count.  The E-312 Ballot Paper Account and Poll Statement are reviewed to ensure that the numbers entered agrees with the information reported on election night.

Who can be present for the final count?

  • The Returning Officer conducts the final count with assistance from the Election Clerk.
  • We recommend that if at all possible the AC is present in order to enter in the final results in to ESPREE.
  • A candidate or up to two candidate’s reps for each candidate may be present. The candidate’s reps should have their E-417 (written appointment) with them. The Oath of Secrecy in the poll be completed for each person in attendance.

Entering Final Count Results in ESPREE

On Saturday, April 16, you will be entering final results into ESPREE.  ESPREE takes the preliminary results and other information and transfers that data over to the Official results page for review.  The Official Results section in ESPREE is also where you enter additional information from the E-312 and the poll book which is then used to create the E-148 and E-148S.  (please note that the E-148 and E-148S will only be created electronically and that you do not need a paper copy of either document ahead of the process, this is a change from the RO Manual).

Additionally, attached to this issue of the Bulletin you’ll find a cheat sheet that tells you where to find the data for each field on the official results page.

Below you will find a link to a video that will walk you through the process of entering the results into ESPREE.  If, after reviewing the video, you have questions about the process, please call 1-866-249-7186 and selection option 1.  Please do not attempt to enter official results into ESPREE until Saturday, April 16th when final count begins.

Link to training video:  https://vimeo.com/162450005/296cf1c776

More Information is Coming!

The next bulletin will include specific details regarding:

  • Your requirements for reading aloud the E-312;
  • What Candidates or Candidates reps are entitled to inspect at the final count;
  • Counting votes cast using special voting procedures;
  • Direction respecting the acceptance or rejection of an HRT ballot or certificate envelope;
  • Adding up the votes and declaring the election result.

Please review Section 13 of your Returning Officer manual as it describes the process of Conducting the Final Count and Return to the WRIT with changes noted above.