Return to the Writ, Assessment & Upcoming Deadlines
Return to the Writ
On Wednesday, November 18, our Returning Officers completed the Return to the Writ process. This involves confirming the elected candidate and signing the official Writ of Election and returning it to the Chief Electoral Officer. For this election, our ROs provided me with electronic copies of these documents before sending the hard copies back via registered mail.
Once I had official confirmation of all 61 elected candidates, I provided the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly with a letter listing the new Members for Saskatchewan’s 29th Legislative Assembly. With this process completed, the Writ period for this election has officially come to a close. While there is still significant work to be completed on the political finance side, the end of the Writ period is a transition point for Elections Saskatchewan. Thank you again for the cooperation you have shown throughout the past several months and years.
Following our last election, in 2016, I asked Dr. Michael Atkinson of the University of Saskatchewan (Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School) to interview Chief Official Agents and Party Leaders to obtain their views on how well Elections Saskatchewan managed the election. His report covered issues of readiness, responsiveness and judgement and he conveyed some specific and general concerns. That data eventually made its way into the Administrative Review, Volume II of my report on the 28th General Election.
This election, I have asked Dr. Atkinson to perform the same task, with the help of Dr. Keith Archer the former Chief Electoral Officer of British Columbia. Rather than meet with you in person, Dr. Atkinson will need to arrange a phone or perhaps a Zoom call. He will ask you to convey candidly your assessment of how Elections Saskatchewan performed. As before, his report will not attribute specific observations to any respondent. The purpose is to gauge overall satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) and to identify areas for improvement.
Further, I have asked Dr. Atkinson to also reach out to a number of the business managers of different candidates throughout the province to conduct a similar interview. If any of these business managers approach you asking about this, I would appreciate you encouraging them to participate as it represents an opportunity to share their experiences and for Elections Saskatchewan to learn from them.
Dr. Atkinson will be in touch within the next few days. I am hoping I can count on you to participate in this review and to help build an even strong electoral administration for the Province of Saskatchewan.
ELMS & Upcoming Deadlines
Finally, brief notes about ELMS (Electoral Management System), our web-based filing application as well as a number of upcoming deadline for parties and candidates. ELMS functionality for registered political parties’ annual returns is close to being finished. We expect that the application will be released in early-December along with user training materials. All parties should prepare to use ELMS to file their 2020 fiscal period return.
In addition, please note the following deadlines. Please ensure your candidates and their business managers are aware of their requirements.
Dr. Michael Boda
Chief Electoral Officer
Province of Saskatchewan