January 26, 2016
Table of Contents

Comprehensive Evaluation of Elections SK’s Delivery of the 28th General Election: A Survey of Candidates and Interviews with Political Parties

In issue eight of the Newsfeed, I described a planned survey of voters and non-voters. Another important stakeholder group that we need to speak to are candidates and representatives of the province’s political parties. Elections Saskatchewan (ESK) provides various election-related materials and assistance to political parties and candidates during the election and throughout the election period. So, it is important to gauge their satisfaction with our service provision and with our conduct of the General Election.

As with the survey of voters and non-voters, ESK has contracted the University of Saskatchewan’s Social Sciences Research Laboratories (SSRL) to conduct the survey of candidates. However, unlike the voters/non-voters survey, data will not be collected over the telephone. Instead, candidates will be invited to complete a short online survey relating to their satisfaction with ESK’s conduct of the 2016 Saskatchewan General Election. Questions will relate to topics such as their satisfaction with the nominations process, information services, voter registration, and polling stations. In addition to understanding candidates’ satisfaction, recommendations for improvement will also be collected so as to assist us in refining our process for conducting the general elections. All surveys will be completed anonymously. Candidates’ comments and feedback will be used to improve the overall performance of ESK, and will not target one constituency or area over another.

Also, similar topics will be explored through interviews with each political party’s Chief Official Agent (COA). They will be asked questions about the conduct of the 28th General Election and about ESK’s performance over the entire election cycle. Interviews will allow us to collect in-depth information about COA’s perceptions and their recommendations for improvement. The two different approaches – surveys and interviews – are complementary and will result in a detailed understanding of political parties’ opinions. A University of Saskatchewan political scientist will conduct these interviews shortly after election day.

My next article related to our evaluation plan will outline the last two stakeholder surveys – the surveys of poll workers and the Field Leadership Team. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, please feel free to touch base with Jeff Kress or Bonnie Schenher.


Dr. Michael Boda
Chief Electoral Officer
Province of Saskatchewan


Newsfeed Feedback Survey

We want to thank all those who have participated in our Newsfeed Feedback Survey. To date, 56 FLT members have completed the survey, and the results so far have been positive. An early analysis of the responses shows that the Newsfeed is meeting its intended purpose of keeping FLT members up-to-date on a variety of matters leading to the April 4, 2016 election.

We are continually seeking to improve our communications tools, and your feedback is crucial to this process. We invite all those who have not yet participated in the survey to do so by Monday, February 1, 2016. The survey shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to complete, and you can add the time to your monthly invoice. To take the survey, please click on the following link: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/newsfeedfeedback/.


Field Worker Roles

ESK’s Returning Officers have the primary responsibility for staffing the polling places in their constituency. During the 28th Provincial General Election roughly 10,000 people will be needed to fill main roles at polling places. This article lists the five main roles and their primary responsibilities.

For more information on the roles and responsibilities of election officials, please contact Kathy Fiedelleck at 306-551-7565, or by email at kfiedelleck@elections.sk.ca.


Supervisory Deputy Returning Officer (SDRO)

  • An SDRO is appointed for each polling location with three or more polling stations;
  • Works with other poll officials to set-up, open and close the polling place;
  • Responsible for maintaining peace and order within the polling place;
  • Ensures poll workers arrive on time;
  • Ensures DROs and PCs fulfill their duties;
  • Ensures that completed forms and documents are accurate;
  • Ensures the ballot count balances are accurate and complete for each polling division;
  • Reports the ballot count to the returning office for each polling division after the count is complete;
  • Ensures the DRO returns ballot boxes and other election supplies to the returning office; and
  • Remains at the polling location until all polls have balanced and the results have been reported.


Deputy Returning Officer (DRO)

  • Responsible for the set-up, opening and closing of their polling station;
  • Processes voters and issues ballots to eligible voters;
  • Maintains security of the ballot box and all ballots;
  • Administers oaths to voters as required;
  • Supervises the voting process;
  • Conducts the ballot count after polls close, and reports the results to either the SDRO or RO;
  • Ensures all appropriate forms and records are completed accurately;
  • Maintains peace and order at their polling station; and
  • Returns the ballot box and other election supplies are returned to the returning office after the count is complete.


Poll Clerk (PC)

  • Assists the DRO with the set-up, opening and closing of their polling station;
  • Assists the DRO with processing voters;
  • Responsible for completing all relevant forms and documentation, and recording information in the poll book;
  • Assists the DRO with the ballot count; and
  • Is prepared and willing to take the place of the DRO if needed.


Information Officer (IO)

  • Assists with setting up, opening and closing the polling place;
  • Ensures efficient movement of voters in and out of the polling place;
  • Ensures that voters stay within the designated areas of the polling place;
  • Provides assistance with entering and exiting the polling place to those who need assistance;
  • Directs voters to entrance and exit doors, and polling stations;
  • Ensures that no traffic obstructions occur inside and outside of the polling place;
  • Completes other assignments from the SDRO and DRO on an as-needed basis; and
  • Is prepared and willing to replace a PC if needed (but only if they are an eligible voter in the constituency).


Registration Officer (RegO)

  • Responsible for the set-up, opening and closing of the polling place’s registration table;
  • Ensures voters are on the voters list, and registers them to vote if needed; and
  • Pre-fills other forms on an as-needed basis.


Reminder: Upcoming Training Event

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone during our upcoming training events scheduled for:

  • February 1 to 3, 2016, in Saskatoon; and
  • February 8 to 10, 2016 in Regina.