Election to be Called Tomorrow, Candidate Rep Guidelines & CEO Orders
Writs to be Issued Tomorrow
You may have heard, but earlier today, Premier Scott Moe announced at an event that Saskatchewan’s 29th General Election will officially begin tomorrow, September 29. The election period will officially begin when I receive an order from the Lieutenant Governor in Council, instructing me to issue the Writs of Election in all 61 provincial constituencies.
Shortly after I receive the instruction to issue the Writs, I will be in contact with you through a Communique with a number of important notifications and reminders. As we approach election day (and beyond) I will increasingly be in contact with you through Communiques – please read them closely as they will often be my only means of communication with you.
Updated Candidate Representative Guidelines
Attached to this Communique is an updated E-418 Guide for Candidates’ Representatives which has been revised to be consistent with CEO Order 2020-05 which adapts provisions of The Election Act, 1996 to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Also attached is a one-page document which outlines the changes to this version of the document from the previous version.
I would ask that you distribute the E-418 to all of your party’s candidates as it contains information that will be useful to them coming advance and election day voting. I appreciate your cooperation with this.
As I have described to you several times now, in order to administer a successful election, certain adaptations to The Election Act, 1996 (the Act) will be required. These adaptations can be broken down into two main 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) 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 Orders along with this Communique as that notice. I would also ask that you communicate this information to your staff, candidates and other party officials. Two new CEO Orders are attached:
CEO-Order-2020-05 Limits on Candidate Representatives: This CEO Order allows Elections Saskatchewan to limit the number of candidates’ representatives who are present during the hours of voting and for the counting of votes. This will help to limit the number of people in any one location and allow for greater physical distancing. This Order also restricts candidates’ representatives from attending personal care facility, hospital and remand polls. As well, candidates’ representatives will be required to physical distance while in a polling location or at the counting of votes and to wear a mask at all times.
CEO-Order-2020-06 Ballot Counterfoil Handling: This CEO Order allows the Deputy Returning Officer to remove the counterfoil from the ballot before handing both the ballot and the detached counterfoil to the voter. This will help to minimize the handling and passage of materials back and forth between voter and deputy returning officer. The voter keeps the counterfoil to have access to the instructions and deposits both ballot and counterfoil into the ballot box after voting.
Questions on CEO Orders can be directed to Jennifer Colin, Deputy CEO, at [email protected] CEO Orders are posted on our website here: https://www.elections.sk.ca/candidates-political-parties/bulletins-circulars/.
Dr. Michael Boda
Chief Electoral Officer
Province of Saskatchewan