August 16, 2023.  Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Dr. Michael Boda appeared yesterday before the Board of Internal Economy (BOIE) of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan to request its acceptance of six proposed CEO Directives that, together, offered a framework for implementing Saskatchewan’s 30th General Election in 2024. The BOIE must approve changes proposed in these CEO Directives for a general election.

The six proposed directives would allow for changes to:

  • Polling Divisions, directing changes to the traditional use of geographic sub-regions.
  • The Polling Period, authorizing a transition away from distinct advance and election day voting periods toward a unified “Voting Week.”
  • Electronic Poll Books/Voting Record, introducing technology that makes it faster and easier to process an increased number of voters while enabling real-time data sharing with political stakeholders. The directive would also make provisions to remove the poll clerk election official position from all locations that use electronic poll books.
  • Vote Counting Equipment, directing the use of equipment to count ballots linked to the use of electronic poll books, allowing election officials to manage the higher number of ballots that come when using electronic poll books. This equipment counts ballots faster and more accurately than hand counting. These machines are not connected to the Internet.
  • Vote Anywhere, directing the creation of a process whereby voters can vote outside of their constituency at certain voting locations designed as “vote anywhere,” a process that can only be instituted when using electronic poll books and vote counting equipment; and
  • Vote by Mail, continuing the use of the centralized Vote by Mail process developed for Saskatchewan’s 2020 General Election.

In a prepared statement, the CEO said that his office had been working with the Board, the province’s registered political parties, and stakeholders across the province since 2014 to determine a modern path forward for Saskatchewan’s election system. A modernization initiative to be instituted over elections in 2020, 2024, and 2028 had been established and the six proposed directives under consideration form an integral pillar of that plan.

Given recent correspondence received from the Government House Leader however, the CEO noted the unlikelihood the proposed directive on vote counting equipment would be accepted by government members of the BOIE.

“There are significant risks of eliminating vote counting equipment while continuing to use electronic poll books,” says Dr. Boda. “These risks include increased administrative errors; an increased potential for multiple ballots being deposited into a ballot box; an increased possibility for counting errors; and the possibility that the number of votes in a ballot box will be greater than a person can reasonably count at the end of the last day of voting, to the increased efficiency brought on by instituting electronic poll books.”

Following discussion of the six directives proposed, the BOIE accepted three (Polling Divisions, The Polling Period, and Vote by Mail) while rejecting three (Electronic Poll Books/Voting Record, Vote Counting Equipment, Vote Anywhere).

The CEO was asked to bring forward in September 2023 two new directives, including one that allows for the use of Electronic Poll Books in Saskatchewan cities (traditional voting locations with poll clerks  would remain in rural constituencies) and another allowing for changes to ballot counting that would address risks introduced by the elimination of vote counting equipment within the election system.

Elections Saskatchewan (ESK) is the province’s nonpartisan election management body and an independent office of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. ESK directs and supervises the administration of provincial electoral events including Saskatchewan’s next general election, scheduled, by legislation, for October 28, 2024. Information for voters, workers, media, candidates, and parties at

For more information contact:

Tim Kydd
Senior Director, Outreach & Communications
Elections Saskatchewan
[email protected]