Elections Saskatchewan, Elections Canada sign information sharing agreement

February 2, 2015 – Elections Saskatchewan has signed an historic agreement with Elections Canada as the first step to building the province’s new permanent register of voters. 

This permanent register will be used to generate a voters list for the 29th General Election, currently scheduled for 2019. Saskatchewan’s last door-to-door enumeration will be conducted for the 28th General Election, currently scheduled for November 2, 2015.

“This is a monumental day for Saskatchewan,” says Dr. Michael Boda, Saskatchewan’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and head of Elections Saskatchewan, the provincial election management body. “This Information Sharing Agreement (ISA) formalizes the secure transfer of an elector’s personal information between these two election management bodies. Elections Saskatchewan and Elections Canada will use this information to maintain and update each of their registers of electors in a secure manner.

“Voter registration is key to the integrity of the electoral process. It is what ensures that only those who are eligible are permitted to vote. An ISA with Elections Canada is an important first step to building Saskatchewan’s first permanent register of voters while allowing both Elections Saskatchewan and Elections Canada to efficiently maintain a permanent register.

“With a permanent register in place, Elections Saskatchewan will be able to generate a voters list prior to each provincial election or by-election without having to rely on a more costly and less accurate door-to-door enumeration approach. Access to the National Register of Electors through this ISA will contribute significantly to this effort,” says Dr. Boda.

For background, in October 2013, Saskatchewan’s CEO released the publication, Toward a Permanent Register of Voters for Saskatchewan, recommending the establishment of such a register. In May 2014, new legislation for Saskatchewan was announced that will modernize the province’s electoral process in several ways, including introducing a permanent register of voters.

“We genuinely appreciate the cooperation of Elections Canada in establishing this agreement. Without a doubt, this relationship will greatly enhance Saskatchewan’s capacity to maintain a provincial-level register of voters housing the most current and accurate voter information we can have. It will contribute directly to the improved delivery of an election,” says Dr. Boda.

The 28th General Election is set, by law, for November 2, 2015. If there is a conflict with a federal election at that time, the alternative date for Saskatchewan’s election is April 4, 2016.

Elections Saskatchewan is the province’s independent, impartial, professional election management body. Given a mandate from the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly, it organizes, manages and oversees provincial electoral events.

 

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For more information contact:

Tim Kydd
Senior Director, Outreach & Policy
Elections Saskatchewan
tim.kydd@elections.sk.ca
(306) 787-7355

 

  

 

Background Information:

 

  • The National Register of Electors was created in 1997.
  • It is a permanent, continually-updated database of Canadians who are qualified to vote in federal elections and referendums. The Register is continually updated with data received from Revenue Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, from provincial and territorial motor vehicle and vital statistics registrars.
  • Elections Canada has data-sharing agreements with electoral agencies at the provincial, territorial and municipal levels.
  • Sharing the Register's data with other electoral agencies reduces costs for all Canadian taxpayers.
  • This agreement protects the personal information of electors by limiting the information that may be shared or disclosed. The information to be shared is the following:

-   Provincial constituency and polling division number;
-   Federal electoral district and polling division number;
-   Elector unique identifier number;
-   Family name;
-   Given name;
-   Middle name;
-   Gender;
-   Date of birth;
-   Residential address;
-   Mailing address;
-   Last update date, and
-   Last update source.

  • Information will be shared using Secure FTP (File Transfer Protocol) services on a Secure FTP Site
  • The security of information includes technical, encryption safeguards with key and password requirements.
  • Both parties will keep an up-to-date record of the names with access to personal information on this Secure FTP Site.
  • Neither party shall collect, disclose, use or retain the other party’s personal information for purposes other than those identified in the ISA or as required by or permitted by law.
  • The agreement includes compliance monitoring, a privacy assurance declaration, and compliance audits.

The ISA remains in place until September 30, 2021.