Curbside Voting, a CEO Directive and New CEO Orders
Mandatory Mask Policy & Curbside Voting
You will be aware that the wearing of masks, more specifically whether masks should be mandatory or worn on a voluntary basis, has become a well-discussed issue, not only in Saskatchewan but elsewhere in Canada and North America. Elections Saskatchewan’s messaging has been consistent – we are requiring our workers and all candidate representatives to wear masks and are strongly encouraging voters to do so as well.
While we are strongly encouraging voters to wear masks, there are a number of facilities leased as polling locations which have imposed a requirement for everyone entering the building to wear a mask. After careful consideration, I have agreed that Elections Saskatchewan will comply with these requests and signs will be posted on these locations informing voters that masks are mandatory within. We will have masks available for a voter who arrives at any voting location without a mask.
We will be placing an additional icon on our website’s “Where Do I Vote” tool to indicate that a facility requires voters to wear masks. In the interests of providing you with complete information, a list of polling locations where a mandatory mask policy is in place will be placed on our website. We are still gathering this information from our Returning Officers, but this list should be available by the end of the day on Monday, October 19.
I am aware that there may be a small number of voters who refuse to wear a mask inside a location where masks are required. In those cases, I believe we have a responsibility to provide them with access to the ballot. We will be offering those voters the option to use the “curbside voting” process – detailed in section 81 of The Election Act, 1996. I will provide more details on that process early next week.
I know that, sadly, your candidates sometimes have to deal with vandalized or stolen campaign signs. With this in mind, I want to provide direction on how these situations should be dealt with from the perspective of the election expense return process. Please see the attached CEO Directive covering Vandalism or Theft of Signs. Questions related to CEO Directives should be directed to Jennifer Colin, Deputy CEO, at [email protected]
Revised Voters List
Just a short note to let you know that a revised voters list will be posted to the FTP portal by 12 noon on Saturday, October 17. This list includes registrations taken over the past several weeks, Vote by Mail strike off information as well as Absentee Voting (in the Returning Office) strike off information.
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 Orders along with this Communique as that notice. I would also ask that you communicate this information, and the attached CEO Orders, to your candidates, staff, and other party officials. The new CEO Orders are:
CEO-Order-2020-009 Extraordinary Voting – Voters Impacted by COVID-19: This CEO Order allows Elections Saskatchewan to offer voting opportunities to this forced to self-isolate due to having COVID-19 or having been a close contact of someone with COVID-19. The Order allows individuals to apply to vote using a process similar to that of Vote by Mail, but between the dates of October 16 – 20, which is after the October 15 deadline for Vote by Mail applications.
CEO-Order-2020-010 Extraordinary Voting – Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation: This CEO Order allows Elections Saskatchewan to offer a modified form of the Extraordinary Voting process to residents of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation communities, which is currently under a lockdown order.
Thank you for attention to these important details.
Dr. Michael Boda
Chief Electoral Officer
Province of Saskatchewan