Additional By-Election plus other Updates
By-Election – Regina Walsh Acres
On March 24, I informed you of pending by-elections in Regina Coronation Park and Lumsden-Morse. You most likely know, but there is now a third by-election that must be held in the constituency of Regina Walsh Acres.
As we learn more about the timing and the administration of these events, I will be in contact with you through a By-Election Communique (or multiple Communiques if the events are not held simultaneously). I look forward to working with you through the administration of these events.
There is one important note about how by-election expenses are reported by registered political parties. An “election” is defined in The Election Act, 1996 as the “election of a member” (section 2(p)). Election event returns are therefore required for each election event – if multiple by-elections are held on the same day, an election expense return for each event must be prepared. The election expense limit would apply to each by-election as if it were a single event – meaning that each party can spend to the expense limit in each separate event. Joint agreements may be used, and the allocation of expenses should be determined in a manner similar to that used for a general election. Registered political party returns of election expenses are due within six months of polling day for the election. If you have questions about this, please contact Aaron Thompson, Director of Finance, at [email protected].
Voter Registration Month
Voter turnout in Saskatchewan has been on a downward trend for many years, falling from 77 percent in 1991 to just under 53 percent in our 2020 general election. In our province and around the world, being a registered voter correlates strongly with casting a ballot. My office administers Saskatchewan’s Permanent Register of Voters and, while we have data sharing agreements with public sector agencies that assist us in updating the register, this is an area that I am convinced we can improve on.
For this reason, May will be the first Voter Registration Month for the province of Saskatchewan. Throughout the month, we will run advertisements encouraging people to register or to update their information. We have also worked with the Democratic Engagement Exchange to create a classroom activity that teachers will be able to work through with their Grade 11 and 12 students to encourage them to register as voters.
I am excited about this promotion as I believe it will result in a stronger voters list for our next election. This benefits my office as a strong voters list results in a smoother voting experience but it also benefits parties and candidates by providing you with better information on which to plan your campaign activities. When the month of May begins, I will be in touch with more detailed information, and I hope that you will support our efforts that month.
“Save the Date” – Annual RPP Meeting
Every year I look forward to meeting with the Chief Official Agents from the province’s registered political parties at our annual June meeting.
While I am still working on the logistical and program details for this year’s meeting, I wanted to let you know that we will meet on Tuesday, June 6 in Regina. I will ask for RSVPs at a later date but for now, please mark this date in your calendar. I am looking forward to seeing you.
Voters List Update
Just a short note to ensure you are aware that a periodic update of the provincial voters list has been added to our secure file sharing site. If you have questions or need assistance with your credentials to access this site, please contact Son Lu, Acting Director of IT, at [email protected].
Deadline – Fiscal Period Return
Finally, a reminder that the deadline for registered political parties to file their fiscal period return is Monday, May 1. The 2022 fiscal period is available within ELMS. Legislation does not allow me to grant an extension for the fiscal period return so please ensure this is completed.
Dr. Michael Boda
Chief Electoral Officer
Province of Saskatchewan