The many component parts involved in planning, organizing, and implementing elections in Saskatchewan are overseen by what is often described as an election management body (EMB).
Internationally, an EMB is an independent, nonpartisan institution that is responsible for neutral election administration within a jurisdiction governed as a democracy.
In Canada each province, territory, and the national jurisdiction has an EMB. Elections Saskatchewan fulfills this mandate for our province, serving as secretariat to the statutory Office of the Chief Electoral Officer.
We have a leadership team based in Regina and dispersed across the province’s 61 constituencies that each elect a Member of the Legislative Assembly.
Our primary responsibility is to maintain a state of provincial election readiness.
There are several independent offices of the Saskatchewan Legislature, and Elections Saskatchewan is one of them.
Our CEO is responsible for the planning, organization, preparation and impartial conduct of provincial electoral events.
The CEO has a supporting team both at our head office and across the province’s 61 constituencies.
In the weeks leading to a general election, Saskatchewan’s electoral service grows to include more than 10,000 provincial residents to work the polls on election day.
They come from all walks of life, each serving voters in bringing to life an event that is fundamental to Saskatchewan’s democratic traditions and upholding constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens to choose who governs them.
Head Office Leadership Team
Supported by a head office leadership team, the CEO ensures the fair and equitable conduct of electoral events. This includes the operational, administrative and financial practices associated with the provincial electoral process.
The management team is made up of:
Our primary responsibility is to maintain a state of readiness for all electoral events such as boundary redistribution, voter registration, by-elections, referenda, plebiscites and general elections.
To this end, we recruit and train a requisite number of constituency returning officers, election clerks and other key field support staff to ensure we can deliver the legislated mandate.
Field Leadership Team
While central electoral administration is the responsibility of the head office leadership team, regional and constituency-level conduct of electoral events is the responsibility of a field leadership team.
Heading up the field leadership team are nine supervisory returning officers. They each represent a different zone of the province comprised of six or seven constituencies. They are responsible for assisting and providing guidance to the returning officers within those constituencies.
Supervisory returning officers receive their direction from head office leadership, act as a liaison between the head office and the constituency returning officer.
They are responsible for ensuring electoral events are administered and conducted at a consistent and high standard across the province.
An important part of maintaining election readiness is having returning officers in place for all 61 provincial constituencies. The CEO appoints the returning officers. They are all hired through an independent merit-based, competition. Notices of these appointments and cancellations are published in The Saskatchewan Gazette.
As our local representatives, returning officers are entrusted with upholding the neutrality of the province’s electoral process within their constituency.
They are directly responsible for the administration, conduct and reporting of constituency-level electoral proceedings (whether for polling division boundary redistributions, voter enumerations, general elections, by-elections, referenda or plebiscites).