Three Important Reminders & New CEO Order
Nomination Deadline – Reminder
The nomination deadline for candidates in this election is 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 10. As I said on the day the Writs were issued, I strongly encourage you to have your candidates make arrangements with their constituency returning officer to submit their nomination packages well in advance of this deadline. If they delay too long and there are issues with their nomination package, they may not be able to complete the requirements before the deadline. The Election Act, 1996 (the Act) does not allow the Chief Electoral Officer to provide extensions to this deadline.
The Act does provide one very specific exception to this rule in the case of an emergency. Section 44(8) states that a returning officer (RO) may accept a nomination paper by fax, provided the unmodified originals and required deposit are provided to the RO within 48 hours of the end of the nomination period. I have attached a copy of a CEO Directive I published in advance of the 2016 general election which clarifies that section of the Act and outlines the procedures my office will undertake should we receive such an application. Please note that I issue frequent reminders and request that you have your candidates reach out to their returning officer well in advance so that no one’s ability to stand as a candidate depends on this very specific emergency provision.
Section 226 – Reminder
Section 226 of The Election Act, 1996 requires registered political parties to update (or to confirm) the information found in the register of political parties within ten days of the writs of election being issued. For the election, that deadline is Friday, October 9. New for this election is the requirement for the leader or chief official agent of a party to inform the Chief Electoral Officer as to how they wish the name of the party or its abbreviation (or both) to appear on the ballot and other election documents. This notice can be completed using the E-515 Confirmation of Party Details/Designation of Representatives for an Election Period form, which is attached and can also be found on our website.
Contact Jennifer Colin at [email protected] if you have questions on this process or on the new requirement to inform the CEO as to how your party should appear on the ballot. This will be my final reminder of this requirement so if you have not already done so, please complete this step as soon as possible.
Candidates who live Outside of Constituency – Reminder
The last reminder that I will issue to you today is that while a candidate need not reside in the constituency in which they intend to run as a candidate, they do need to complete a form if they wish to vote in their chosen constituency. This is allowed for in section 16(5) of the Act which allows candidates, as well as their spouse and dependents (who must live with the candidate and be eligible voters) to be added to the voters list and to vote in a different constituency than the one they live in.
I have attached a copy of the E-314CSD Voting by Candidate not Resident in the Constituency form, which can also be found in the Candidates and Parties section of our website. Contact Jennifer Colin if you have questions on this process. The deadline for a candidate to complete this process is Thursday, October 15.
Finally, as I have said in the past, in order to administer a successful election during the COVID-19 pandemic, certain adaptations to The Election Act, 1996 (the Act) are required. These adaptations can be broken down into two categories – first, changes required to protect against and prevent the spread of COVID-19, and second, changes required to ensure the efficiency and stability of the election system as a result of the pandemic – and will be made using the authority found in section 7 of the Act.
Section 7(3)(a) of the Act requires that the Chief Electoral Officer give notice to every registered political party when the authority contained in section 7 is used. Please accept the attached CEO Order along with this Communique as that notice. I would also ask that you communicate this information to your candidates, staff, and other party officials. One new CEO Order is attached:
CEO-Order-2020-08 Trainers – Authority to Administer Oaths and Declarations: This CEO Order allows Elections Saskatchewan to have the Trainer position administer necessary oaths and declarations to election officials such as deputy returning officers and poll clerks. This Order is necessary because, due to physical distancing requirements, election official training will often be held outside of the returning office, which means that the Returning Officer and Election Clerk, who have the legislated authority to administer oaths and declarations, will not be in attendance at training sessions.
Questions on CEO Orders should be directed to Jennifer Colin.
Dr. Michael Boda
Chief Electoral Officer
Province of Saskatchewan