April 15, 2015 – Saskatchewan’s senior field leadership team gathered in Saskatoon this week for the next phase of election administration training for the 28th General Election.
Returning officers and election clerks from Saskatchewan’s 61 constituencies, along with nine supervisory returning officers, participated in the 2015 Conference of Saskatchewan Election Officials.
Returning officers and election clerks are the senior election leaders across the province. They are responsible for coordinating electoral events in each constituency, such as general elections and by-elections. There is one returning officer and one election clerk assigned to each of the 61 new constituencies that will come into effect for the next general election, which by law is set for November 2, 2015. If there is a conflict with a federal election at that time, the alternative date for Saskatchewan’s election is April 4, 2016.
Staff completed training on many of the responsibilities they will oversee during the 28th General Election, including hiring election day workers and enumerators, securing polling locations, and printing ballots. This is part of an ongoing process to train field staff and will continue up until election day.
“I’m asking you today to think about what it means to be a leader in service,” Dr. Michael Boda, Saskatchewan’s Chief Electoral Officer and head of Elections Saskatchewan, asked of the field leadership team. Dr. Boda spoke about approaching election work with a focus on service to individuals, groups and the broader community.
“The 28th General Election will be the largest event ever in the history of Saskatchewan, requiring 10,000 workers on election day. We have a goal of making it the best provincial election ever, and that means delivering this event in a manner that is consistent with our election law and with the policies and procedures that Elections Saskatchewan uses to reinforce that legislation.”
Dr. Boda presented The Chief Electoral Officer’s Lifetime Service Award to Josephine Taylor. This honour is bestowed upon returning officers or election clerks who have made a substantial contribution to the health of Saskatchewan’s democracy through their service to our electoral process. Ms. Taylor has worked as both an election clerk and returning officer in Lloydminster since 2003, including serving as returning officer for the November 2014 by-election.
The conference placed emphasis on the institution’s role of serving voters, political parties and candidates. Elections Saskatchewan heard from several experts in election management and community engagement from across Canada. Guests spoke about their personal experiences in electoral administration and gave valuable advice to staff preparing for the 28th General Election.
Elections Saskatchewan is the province’s independent, impartial, professional election management body. Given a mandate from the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly, it organizes, manages and oversees provincial electoral events.
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