This issue of the Writ Period Bulletin for Field Leadership Team includes articles on:
- Message to the FLT from the Chief Electoral Officer;
- Advance Voting Starts;
- When to Use Spare Advance Poll Teams;
- Reporting the Opening of Advance Polls;
- Keeping the Voters List Up-to-Date;
- Informing Elections SK of Number of Advance Voters Daily; and
- Returning Office Selfies.
Message to the FLT from the Chief Electoral Officer
As we look toward advance voting between Tuesday and Saturday of this week, along with all the other tasks at hand, I want to offer my genuine thanks to everyone on our Field Leadership Team for the work that you are doing. Your commitment and dedication is what will make this electoral event a success – so far, I have seen nothing but a team that is giving its very best.
As of Saturday, Elections Saskatchewan had processed a record number of voter registrations, 750,893. Given our estimated 815,000 eligible voters, this means our coverage rate is currently at about 92 percent, compared to 76 percent at this point in 2011. With an increase of over 150,000 voters on the voters list, the increase in coverage is just one demonstration of our efforts to more effectively serve the people of Saskatchewan—that’s 150,000 more Voter Information Cards that make voting easier.
I want you to know that Elections Saskatchewan simply could not change and improve the way we serve our voters without your commitment to implementing this process. As you go through this week, each Returning Office will undoubtedly experience its own unique challenges. Please know that those of us at Head Office remain committed to supporting you in every way possible. Thank you again your efforts.
Advance Voting Starts
- Tuesday March 29 is the start of Advance voting;
- Advance voting runs for 5 days from Tuesday March 29 until Saturday April 2; and
- The hours are from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 12 noon until 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Make sure your poll officials show up at their designated Advance poll at least 1 hour early to set up their polling station(s).
Typically, there is an uneven flow of voters at the Advance polls. More voters tend to show up when the poll first opens and on the first and last days of Advance voting. Make sure you are prepared for the increased numbers of voters at these times.
All Advance polls will have an Information Officer and many will also have Registration Officers. These extra staff can be a big help in organizing the voters and making the flow and processing of voters more efficient.
When to Use Spare Advance Poll Teams
Predicting when and where voters will cast their ballot is a difficult task. This is even more challenging for this election as the legislation was changed to remove barriers for voting at an advance poll.
We do not want voters to face long wait times at advance polls. To minimize the risk of wait times, teams were instructed to have spare teams in place and ready to go.
We have provided this guidance to help determine when to deploy spare advance poll teams. We recommend that:
- Advance poll teams not be deployed within the first 90 minutes of polls opening. It will take a little time for workers to develop a routine for processing ballots.
- Spare teams be put in place where voter wait time consistently exceed 15 minutes
- Returning Officers should have a messenger on standby to deliver the extra advance poll kit, ballot box, voting screen and ballots
Reporting the Opening of Advance Polls
Ensuring that the all polls open on time is a very important task. Elections Saskatchewan has developed a poll open application to make communicating poll opening information easier.
Each returning officer was provided with instructions on how to use the poll open application. Please ensure that the person who will be using the application is familiar with how it works.
The poll application can be found at: http://pollopen.elections.sk.ca. A refresher video on how to use the application can be found at: https://vimeo.com/160385606/155c1412f1.
Keeping the Voters List Up-to-Date
This is a reminder to keep the Master copy of the Official Voters List in your office up-to-date by striking off the names of:
- Absentee voters who have been sent a ballot kit;
- Homebound voters who have voted; and
- Advance poll voters who have voted.
Informing Elections SK of Number of Advance Voters Daily
Following the close of Advance voting each day it is important that you call your SRO (no later than 12 noon) to report the number of voters who voted at each Advance poll. Your SRO will, in turn, report these numbers to Elections Saskatchewan each day. Elections Saskatchewan needs to have these statistics to provide to the media by 1:00 p.m. each day.
Returning Office Selfies
Elections SK is asking that returning office staff members take selfies (pictures of themselves) while in your returning office. Pictures can be of individuals or groups. We want to collect a visual record of the work being done across the Province to deliver the general election.
Please send your selfies to Tim Kydd by text (306-537-9211) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When sending your selfies to Tim, please:
- Include a short message indicating your constituency and who is in each photo; and
- If multiple people are in the photo, please list them in order from left to right.