Vote by Mail available & Info on Administrative Pilots

Vote by Mail Now Available

I want to ensure that you are aware that we have opened our Vote by Mail portal for the Meewasin by-election. Eligible voters can now apply and, once the by-election is called, Elections Saskatchewan will send them a ballot package in the mail. Ballot packages will not be mailed until the by-elections is called and the writ has been issued. Vote by Mail is a safe, convenient option for voters, and I hope that you will promote this option to your supporters in the constituency of Meewasin.

Interested and eligible voters can visit here and begin the application process.  

Non-Legislated Pilot Projects

Last week, I provided you with information on a number of pilot projects that we are undertaking in accordance with section 5.1 of The Election Act, 1996. At that time, I mentioned that we are also pursuing several items which do not involve legislative changes, and which can be achieved through administrative changes alone.

Not all of these items will have a direct impact on you or your candidate, but I want to ensure that our registered political parties are aware of what their election management body is working on. For Saskatoon Meewasin, we are piloting, through administrative means, the following:

  • EMS Location Management Module: We have provided you with updates on the development of our new election management system (EMS) for several years now. During this by-election, we are using a newly developed location management module to manage our returning office and voting locations.
  • Centralized payment of voting location leases: The location management module from our new EMS will also allow us to centrally pay voting location lease payments. Data will be exported from our EMS to a third-party payment provider without needing to re-enter information.
  • VOIP in Returning Office: Rather than rely on traditional phones in our returning office, we will instead test a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) system.
  • Candidate and Party Strike Off Portal: While possible due to the introduction of electronic poll books, we do have administrative control over the method by which we share strike off data with parties and candidates. For this by-election, we will pilot a portal that will provide real time access to this data. We will reach out to you to ensure you are able to access and use the data once a test site has been established.

The next three changes can be traced back to the administrative commitments I made in Volume III of A Report on the Twenty-Ninth General Election:

  • Business Manager Video: We are developing a short video that will help business managers understand their role, responsibilities and time commitment before they commit to the role. We will share a link to the video once it is finalized.
  • Business Manager Appointment Form: We have created a new cover page for this appointment form that clearly lists the responsibilities and time commitment expected from the business manager and explicitly asks them to acknowledge that they understand what will be involved. Our hope is that by making the commitment required very clear from the start that business managers will be more prepared to complete their legislated responsibilities. This form can be found on our website here.
  • Business Manager Bulletin Series: Traditionally, we have communicated with business managers through a series of emails. We are reworking and revamping these communications to make them more consumable and understandable.

Boundary Commission – Website Online

Finally, on a non-Meewasin note, I wanted to ensure you are aware that the website for the Constituency Boundary Commission has launched – The website will contain information on the publication of the Interim Report, which must be submitted to the Clerk of the Executive Council next week as well as on public hearings, which will be held in September.

The Commission also a has a Twitter account to share information that you may wish to follow – @saskboundaries.

While I may continue to share key events and updates from the Boundary Commission, I would encourage you to visit the website and make note of Commission activities. The delimitation of constituency boundaries is an important process, and it is best served by robust participation from key stakeholders, including registered political parties.

Dr. Michael Boda
Chief Electoral Officer
Province of Saskatchewan