With one week to the start of advance polls and less than two weeks until election day, I will likely start being in more frequent contact with all of you. Today, I wanted to clarify the process that your candidates’ representatives can use to obtain information at advance polls and on election day. I would ask that you share this information with your candidates and their representatives. I will be doing the same with my Field Leadership Team and election day workers.
Advance Polls – Information accessible to Candidates’ Reps
I appreciate that your candidates may want “real time” information on those who have voted at advance polls. I offered clarity on how information will be disseminated to candidates in advance of the Lloydminster By-Election in November 2014 and want to describe the process for you again before the April 4 general election.
Elections SK does not have the capacity to provide copies of an “E-333, Statement of Voters who Voted on Polling Day” (also known as a “bingo sheet”) at advance polls. Your candidate representatives are allowed, however, to ask the deputy returning officer (DRO) to view the poll book when present. Be aware that timing of access will remain at the discretion of the DRO and that serving the needs of voters will always come first. In addition, it should be clear that cameras are not permitted in the polling place, so they cannot be used to capture this information.
Upon their nomination, candidates were provided with a package of materials including an “E-418 – Guide for Candidates’ Representatives” for distribution to candidates’ representatives. The process regarding information that is accessible during advance polls and on election day is explained on page 3 under the heading “Information Provided to Candidates’ Representatives.” I have attached a PDF copy of the E-418 with today’s communique.
Providing access to the poll book in the way described has been communicated to DROs through our training of advance poll workers and I have issued a communication to all of our returning officers to reiterate these points to their Advance Poll DROs. Our expectation is that every DRO will follow the instructions given.
If your candidate representatives finds that this guidance is not being followed, please ask them to contact the Returning Officer so that the Returning Officer can reiterate the process which is allowed to the DRO. As always, you are welcome to contact me if you feel the process is still not being followed and I will investigate further on your behalf.
When all five days of advance poll voting are complete (the last day is Saturday, April 2 from 12 noon to 7 p.m.), our Returning Officers will compile copies of the “E-317 – Poll Book for Voters who Voted at Advance” from every advance poll in their constituency and supply a copy to every candidate in the constituency. These copies will be available for candidates on Sunday, April 3.
Election Day – Information accessible to Candidates’ Reps
Although it is not in legislation, DROs are instructed to provide your candidate representatives with a copy of the “E-333, Statement of Voters Who Voted on Polling Day” (aka the “bingo sheet”) at certain times on election day. The E-333 will be distributed every two hours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. As during advance polls, your candidate representatives can ask the DRO to view the poll book when voters are not being served. This remains at the discretion of the DRO and serving the needs of voters will take priority. This process is also described in the attached E-418.
Candidate representatives may view the Poll Book throughout the day as long as they do not interfere with the efficiency of the voting process or impede the voters ability to cast his/her vote in a timely manner. They can also obtain a copy of Form E-316 “Statement by Deputy Returning Officer Respecting Voters Who Made the Declaration on Election Day.”
Advance Polls and Election Day –
Role of Candidate Representatives
I’d like to take an opportunity to offer clarity with respect to the role of candidates’ representatives at the polls before advance voting begins next week.
As you know, I consider candidates and their representatives to be important stakeholders in the electoral process and, specifically, at polling locations. In this light, I have every expectation that they will treat election officials and voters with the same respect that they deserve. Election officials training has emphasized the need for respect—respect for the rules in place and respect for voters and candidates’ representatives—within each polling place. I hope that you will encourage similar parameters among your teams in the constituencies.
Candidate representatives may be situated behind or to the side of the Poll Official’s table (away from the voters screen). The actual seating arrangements will depend on the size and configuration of the polling place.
Please be aware that candidate representatives do not need to be situated in close proximity to the registration desk because the completed registration accompanies the voter to the polling station desk.
As mentioned, every candidate was to receive a copy of the E-418 “Guidelines for Candidates’ Representatives” when they received their nomination package. I would encourage you to distribute the attached PDF copy to your candidates again.
Ministry of Highways – Election Signage Information
The provincial Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure has asked that we reiterate information related to election signage to all of you. Attached is the document that was originally sent on Friday, February 19. If you have questions on these rules, contact information for the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure can be found within the attachment.
Later this week, I will provide information on the provision of the Revised Voters List and when and how it will be available to you.