RPP Micro Topic, Business Manager Training, VBM Information & CEO Orders
RPP Micro Topic – Advance/Election Day Voting Processes
In mid-August, we hosted you for a micro topic briefing on our plans for Vote by Mail. I hope that you found that session interesting and informative. I am pleased to tell that we have prepared a second micro topic presentation for you – this one will focus on voting in person at advance and election day polls and what has changed for this election from past events.
This briefing will be held on Thursday, September 17 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Similar to last time, my staff will send an invite and you are free to invite one other representative from your party to attend. I’m looking forward to speaking with you again and sharing our plans for how we are making in-person voting safer.
Business Manager Training
The work of candidate business managers is very important to the administration of a successful electoral event. With this in mind, a series of three business manager training videos have been produced and posted on to the Elections Saskatchewan Vimeo page – they can be found at the following three links:
Every business manager appointed through an E-401 Appointment/Consent of the Business Manager of a Candidate will receive an email with a link to the training videos and an invitation to attend one of two conference calls with Elections Saskatchewan staff to provide an opportunity to ask questions or seek clarification after watching the videos. These conference calls are not intended to be training sessions, but rather supplements to the training videos. You, as Chief Official Agent, and other interested party staff will also be invited to participate in these conference calls.
Vote by Mail Information
With the introduction of our online Vote by Mail application system, we are able to produce near real-time information for you, as a registered political party, on voters whose applications for a vote by mail ballot have been approved. This information will be made available to you in an extract that will be produced and placed on our FTP site daily. If you are interested in receiving this data, please contact Jennifer Colin, Deputy CEO, at [email protected]
On May 20 of this past year, I let you know of some regulatory changes that had been made which better clarified and defined the emergency powers provided to the Chief Electoral Officer in section 7 of The Election Act, 1996 (the Act). This was in response to recommendations that I had made to the Government of Saskatchewan seeking explicit authority to be able to adapt electoral processes given the presence of COVID-19. The adaptations that I anticipate making 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.
The changes being made using the authority found in section 7 of the Act will be recorded and communicated to you through CEO Orders. 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 Order 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 CEO Orders are attached here:
CEO-Order-2020-01 Adjusting the Absentee Voter Application Deadline: This CEO Order adjusts the deadline for voters to apply for absentee voting. The deadline will be moved up two days, from October 17 to October 15. This will provide more time for ballot kits to be mailed to voters (and for voters to return ballot kits to Elections Saskatchewan) and will assist with managing what could be a greatly increased number of applications to vote by mail.
CEO-Order-2020-02 Cleaning Fees – Polling Place Rentals: This CEO Order allows for Elections Saskatchewan to pay increased amounts to polling locations for COVID-19 related cleaning after Elections Saskatchewan uses a facility. The amounts that we traditionally pay are set in regulation and state that the prescribed fee is to include janitorial services. This Order allows for an additional payment of up to $200 with the CEO being able to authorize a higher payment.
Questions on CEO Orders can be directed to Jennifer Colin at [email protected] Please be aware that CEO Orders will be posted on our website here: https://www.elections.sk.ca/candidates-political-parties/bulletins-circulars/.
Dr. Michael Boda
Chief Electoral Officer
Province of Saskatchewan