In-Person Voting Begins This Week
Start of Voting Week
In-person voting begins Thursday throughout the by-election constituencies. On August 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8, voting will take place from 12 noon to 8 p.m. On Thursday, August 10, the last day of voting, locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please remember that in Regina Coronation Park and in Regina Walsh Acres, voting will take place at the same locations on all days. In Lumsden-Morse, a larger set of locations will open on August 10 to help ensure that no voter faces an unreasonably long distance to drive in order to vote.
As you know, we are offering a modernized voting process for these three by-elections. Our election officials at most voting locations will use electronic poll books to check voters in and to strike them off the voters list. This facilitates the sharing of real-time strike off data with candidates and registered political parties.
Here are two things to be aware of when it comes to the sharing of data:
Should you, your candidates, or their representatives have any issues, questions or concerns during voting, those should first be raised with the Supervisory Deputy Returning Officer on site. If they cannot be resolved at that level, you can contact the Returning Officer or you can reach out to Jennifer Colin at j[email protected] at our head office for resolution.
Finally, just two reminders for your candidates and candidate representatives. First, all candidate representatives must be appointed using the E-417 form and have this form with them when they visit voting locations. Second, the E-418 Guide for Candidate Representatives provides instructions on what they can, and cannot do in a voting location, including locations with technology. Please ensure your candidates are aware of this guide and make it available to their candidate representatives. I have attached it to this Communique and a copy can also be found online at https://www.elections.sk.ca/candidates-political-parties/forms-and-guides/.
Commitment to Transparency – New Processes
New voting processes and the introduction of technology bring changes to many of our traditional election procedures. I recognize changes to how we elect our provincial representatives must be made carefully, methodically, and with the involvement of key stakeholders.
Consistent with our organizational values, I want to ensure that you (as Chief Official Agent of a registered political party) and your candidates understand the new processes involved and the impact they can have on your campaign. I want to ensure that we continue to be transparent, offering the ability for you and your representatives to view key moments during the electoral process.
An invitation was issued to you in advance of yesterday’s pre logic and accuracy testing in Regina and Swift Current. You can expect further invitations moving forward throughout this process. If there are additional components of the processes that you would like more information on or would like to observe, I want you to be in touch with my office so your questions can be answered.
I want to stress that my office is committed to making these by-elections both transparent and accessible throughout. If there is an element of modernization (or of our more traditional processes) that you would like to have more information on or would like access to, please let me know and I will explore how this can be achieved in the context of electoral best practice. Ultimately, I understand how integral these processes are and the impact they have on you and your candidates. I genuinely appreciate your engagement in this regard.
Ballot Count Confirmation – Details
Given that this is the first event we will use vote counting equipment, I wanted to offer parties and candidates certainty that the results produced by this equipment can be relied upon.
For that reason, I have arranged for a Ballot Count Confirmation (as described in CEO Directive 2023-008, which was provided to you on June 13 and which is also attached) to take place on Monday, August 14 beginning in the morning. For the by-election constituency with the closest margin of victory, all ballots that were counted by vote counting equipment will be inspected to confirm the results provided by the machine. In the other two constituencies, we will select one ballot box that was counted by vote counting equipment at random and confirm the results of that box.
Chief official agents, candidates, and candidate representatives are welcome to observe the ballot count confirmation. More information, including times and locations will be provided next week.
Revised Voters List
A revised voters list has been created and placed onto the download portal for all parties and candidates that have signed Data Sharing Agreements. Please contact Son Lu, A/Director of IT, at [email protected] if you have questions.
Returning Office Hours
A reminder that while our returning offices have standard hours (provided to you on Thursday, July 13, the day the writs were issued), they will be open at all times that voting is taking place. This means they will stay open from 12 noon to 8 p.m. on August 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on August 10, in addition to their regularly scheduled hours on those days. All returning offices (as well as our head office) will be closed on Monday, August 7, Saskatchewan Day.
Thank you again, and all the best as in-person voting begins tomorrow. Please know that we are here to serve you and your candidates and do not hesitate to reach out with questions or issues.
Dr. Michael Boda
Chief Electoral Officer
Province of Saskatchewan