March 23, 2016: Writ Period Bulletin for Field Leadership Team

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

  • Ballot Printing - Next Steps;
  • Confirming Accessibility with Facility Management;
  • Accessible Voting;
  • New Instruction for Distribution of PCH VICs;
  • Results Reporting Simulation – ESPREE Test;
  • Rate of Pay for Spare Poll Officials; and
  • Good Friday Office Closure Sign (attached).

Ballot Printing – Next Steps

We are happy to report that we continue to make good progress with the printing of ballots. The ballots for the constituencies in the far north have already been delivered. Every other constituency has had the ballot proof approved and is working with the printer to ensure ballots are received before the start of advance voting.

We ask that you scan both the front and back of a ballot when received from the printer. The scan should be e-mailed to ballots@elections.sk.ca. We also ask that you confirm in the e-mail that the following steps have been completed:

  • Review one ballot to ensure candidate names, parties, and occupations are correct. While everything should be ok, this is a good triple check to ensure nothing changed since the ballot proof was approved;
  • Inspect the ballots for printing flaws, such as ink smudges, that obscure candidates’ names or appear in the circle where the voters place their mark;
  • Verify the total number of ballots in each book. Count a sample (15%) of the books to ensure there are 25 ballots in each book;
  • Ensure the E-117 has been completed by the printer and appropriately reviewed. All ballot paper must be accounted for. Please attach a scanned copy of the E-117 to the email;
  • Ensure that all ballot paper is stored under lock and key.

For more information on the process for reviewing or storing ballots, please review the processes starting on page 118 of the Returning Officer Training Manual.  

Please call the Support Desk and select option 3 if there are any errors or problems encountered (e.g., printing press failure causing ballots to be damaged or otherwise delayed).

Confirming Accessibility with Facility Management

As voting approaches, you must contact facility managers/caretakers to let them know about any remediation products we are installing and confirm that any accessibility aids (e.g. permanent ramps) and designated parking stalls are available and functional.

Contact with facility managers will also provide an opportunity to request that any obstacles or clutter be cleared from walkways and hallways before voting commences.

If you discover that an accessibility issue remains that you cannot resolve or if you have any accessibility questions or problems with your accessibility products, please contact the Support Desk at 1-866-249-7186 and select option 3 for Operations.

Accessible Voting

Accessibility covers more than the facility. It also covers services such as:

  • information officers at every polling location providing directions and assistance to all voters including those with disabilities;
  • curbside voting where the DRO may take the poll book, the voters list and related documents outside the polling place where a person with a disability is unable to access the facility;
  • temporary disabled parking signs to ensure wheelchair accessible parking;
  • available supplemental lighting in the voting booths to enhance visibility;
  • assistance marking the ballot by the DRO where needed;
  • allowing an individual to act as a friend for up to two individuals to provide assistance marking the ballot and putting it in the ballot box;
  • it also includes assistive tools such as pencil grips, paper and clipboards, magnifiers and a braille ballot template; and
  • finally, it also includes an attitude. An attitude of sensitivity to voters’ needs with a strong customer service orientation.

Please remind poll officials of the “Accessible Voting” video in the link below: http://www.youtube.com/c/electionssaskatchewan

If you have any accessibility questions contact the Support Desk at 1- 866-249-7186 and select option 3 for Operations.

New Instruction for Distribution of PCH VICs

VICs for personal care homes will be produced Thursday March 24 and couriered to RO offices. ROs should make arrangements to deliver the VICs to Personal Care Homes (PCH) in their constituency and request administrators to distribute them to residents.

When dropping off the VICs, please confirm with PCH administrators that the E-362 Attestation of Residence form (where necessary) will be ready by April 4 to be used as a second piece of ID for residents along with the voter card.

Results Reporting Simulation – ESPREE Test

On Monday March 28 at 2 p.m. we will be performing an election night simulation of results reporting in ESPREE. Sample E-340 forms will be sent to your Returning Officer email account earlier in the day. For this practice run, you will need to have your Automation Coordinator (AC) in attendance at the returning office at 1 p.m. to review the instructions, sample forms and to view the “Results Entering” video https://vimeo.com/160015828/6175ad214a. If your AC is not available to participate in this simulation you must assign this task to another person within the office that will be involved in the results reporting process on election night.

Do not begin to enter the test results until 2 p.m. We need to have all returning offices entering the test results at the same time to simulate conditions on election night and so that we will be able to load test the system. This simulation will also give your AC practice entering results so that they will be more familiar with what is expected on election night.

The results entered during the simulation will be later deleted from ESPREE by Elections SK IT.

Rate of Pay for Spare Poll Officials

Spare workers who are not called in to work at a polling station during the advance polls or on election day will be paid for a minimum of 3 hours at $17.15/hr. (DRO hourly rate) for each day they are on stand-by. If a spare worker is called in to work, they will be paid at the rate set for the position they are occupying for the number of hours actually worked.

Good Friday Office Closure Sign

Attached to this Bulletin you will find a sign that you must post on your office door or window informing the public that your office will be closed on Good Friday and re-open on Saturday March 26.