This issue of the Writ Period Bulletin for Field Leadership Team includes articles on:
Reporting Poll Openings
On election day, it is critically important for ROs to report to Elections SK when each poll is set up and that workers have arrived.
Please remind all of your SDROs/DROs who will be reporting this information that:
The purpose of the call is not to report that the poll is open, but that it is set up and that workers are ready. If a worker has not arrived by 8:30 a.m., this MUST be immediately reported to the returning office so that a spare can be deployed.
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL 9:00 AM TO CALL
Receiving “Poll Ready to be Open” Calls from SDROs/DROs
It is essential that the RO is aware of problems in polling locations so that you have time to address the situation before polls are scheduled to open at 9:00 a.m.
ROs must have contact information (cell phone number) for SDRO/DROs and SDRO/DROs must have phones turned on (vibrate) to receive calls from their RO.
Instruct your SDROs/DROs to keep calling (email or text) the returning office until contact is made. ROs should plan to have staff dedicated to receiving these calls and immediately report this information in the “Poll Ready To Open” application.
ROs will need to develop a plan to receive calls from all polling locations over a 30-minute period. You may need to bring on extra staff to cover the phones. If necessary, one or two of your spares can be used for this purpose.
Be prepared to take action to alleviate any problems in a timely fashion and include the reasons for problems in the Poll Open application.
SROs and DSROs will need to monitor the application and follow up with individual ROs, as
Extra Workers on Election Day
Every constituency is at risk of not having people show up to work at 8:00 a.m. on election day. Each constituency should have extra workers trained and ready to go (we recommended a minimum of 5 for urban constituencies and 8 for rural constituencies).
The goal is to have extra teams ready with ballots, ballot boxes, lists and kits that can make it to locations in 30 minutes.
If you have not heard from a polling station by 8:30 a.m., backups should be deployed to that location. If the assigned poll officials arrive to open the poll by 9:00 a.m., the extra team you have dispatched to replace them can return to where they were located. Extra workers can be released at 11:00 a.m. if backup resources are not needed.
Another option would be for you to use some of these extra workers as messengers and security assistants throughout the day.
Combining Ballots from Small Polls on Election Night – Preserving Ballot Secrecy
A secret ballot is essential for safeguarding the integrity of democratic elections because it enables voters to cast their vote with full independence. However, even where secrecy protections exist in the voting process, secrecy can sometimes be compromised in the reporting of vote counts. In the reporting of voting results from extremely small polls or from polls where there have been few voters, the secrecy of the vote may become compromised if the way in which individuals voted can be identified. To ensure ballot secrecy is protected in these circumstances, these guidelines should be followed in the reporting of poll results.
Tracking Ballot Boxes on Election Night
Ballot box security is fundamental to democracy. A lost or misplaced ballot box could undermine the integrity of the election.
Ballot boxes should, in most cases, be delivered to the returning office on election night. The only exception will be rural and remote polls that have a long distance to travel.
ROs should know in advance if any ballot boxes will not be returned on election night. ROs should contact their SROs once all expected ballot boxes have been received. ROs must be prepared to call DROs to follow up on all ballot boxes they are expecting but have not received. If a DRO does not return the ballot box as planned, this information must be provided to the Support Desk (select option 3) immediately.
IT IS CRITICAL YOU RECEIVE ALL BALLOT BOXES AS PLANNED
Distributing Names of Absentee and Homebound Voters to Candidates
You have until 7:00 p.m. today, Saturday April 2, to visit the homes of homebound voters. After crossing off the names on the voters list of homebound voters who have voted and absentee voters who were sent a ballot kit, you will be able to supply the names of absentee and homebound voters to candidates. The list of names of absentee (E-133A) and homebound voters (E-164HB) can be either hand delivered or faxed to the candidates’ campaign headquarters on Sunday April 3.