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Best Practices for Ensuring Compliance with Registration and Voting Procedures

Annex B International Survey Questionnaire

Review of Practices for Ensuring Compliance with Voting and Registration Procedures

Questionnaire Guide for International Electoral Management Bodies

Background

Elections Canada is conducting a comprehensive review of processes on election day and early voting days, to determine the factors that might contribute to administrative errors and what may be done to minimize these errors, from both an administrative and legislative perspective. This review is being undertaken as a result of a recent court ruling following the 2011 federal general election that declared the election in a given electoral district to be "null and void" due to a significant number of "irregularities" or administrative errors on the part of poll staff.

The review includes an examination and analysis of voting and election-day registration information for randomly selected sample polls across the country to determine whether processes were conducted in compliance with Elections Canada's standards and procedures.

Subsequently, the causes of any procedural deviations will be examined, the effectiveness of the existing checks and balances will be assessed, and recommendations will be provided on how to minimize the occurrence of these deviations in the future. Key stakeholders, especially political parties and field staff, will be engaged throughout the project to help identify causes and potential solutions.

The findings and recommendations of the review will be detailed in a report to be submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada on March 31, 2013. The report will then be presented to Parliament along with an action plan to address the recommendations.

As part of this study, Elections Canada is consulting electoral management bodies (EMBs), both internationally and in Canada, to learn about experiences in other jurisdictions.

I. Introduction

The purpose of this questionnaire is for us to draw upon your knowledge and expertise, and to learn about practices that your jurisdiction has adopted to ensure compliance with voting and registration procedures on election day and early voting days. This information will be integrated into a report on best practices, which will be shared with all respondents once completed.

We would appreciate your completing and submitting this questionnaire by November 30, 2012.

Privacy Notice

Elections Canada is collecting information in order to understand what practices have been adopted by electoral management bodies with regard to electoral law and administrative procedural compliance. It intends to use this information to produce a report on best practice. Elections Canada will not use your name or associate you personally with any comments you make. The report may be disclosed to all electoral management bodies who completed the questionnaire and in accordance with the Access to Information Act.

I have read and understood the Privacy Notice above.

II. Key Legislative Requirements

The following questions concern electoral law and legal requirements. We are interested in knowing how legislative requirements govern voting and registration in your jurisdiction.

Q1. Please indicate whether the following registration requirements apply in your jurisdiction:
Requirements Yes No Does not apply
Voters are registered automatically
(e.g. from a census, population/electors' registry, or other enumeration).
     
Voters must "opt in" or actively register to vote.      
Voters may register on election day.      
Lists of electors are primarily paper-based.      
List of electors are primarily electronic.      
Q2. Please indicate whether the following voting requirements, for election day and early voting days, apply in your jurisdiction:
Requirements Yes, on election day only Yes, on early voting days only Yes, on election day and early voting days Does not apply
Voters may vote at a designated polling facility.        
Voters may vote on early voting days
(i.e. voting in a polling facility prior to election day).
   
Voters must present identification before voting.        
Voters must present proof of residential address before voting.        
Voters may take an oath or make a solemn declaration to confirm their identity or address of residence.        
Voting is primarily paper-based.        
Voting is primarily electronic (using optical scans, DREs etc.).        

III. Voting and Registration Procedures

The following questions address administrative procedures that poll staff must follow. "Poll staff" is defined as those responsible for interacting with electors during voting and registration activities on polling days, either on election day or during early voting. We would like to know what the voting process is like in your jurisdiction, and how you ensure that poll staff follow prescribed procedures exactly.

Q3. Please select the response that best characterizes the allocation of staff responsibilities in your jurisdiction:
Allocation of Staff Responsibilities Check if applicable
Staff responsibilities are general (i.e. each poll worker is called to fulfill various voting/registration tasks).  
Staff responsibilities are specialized (i.e. each poll worker is called to fulfill a specific function).

Please elaborate:


 
Do not know/Does not apply  
Q4. We would like to know about some of the successful initiatives that your organization has implemented to ensure that poll staff perform their duties in full accordance with instructions. We are particularly interested in initiatives that are innovative or unique.
Briefly describe the initiative(s) that your organization has implemented to ensure compliance with instructions related to registration (if not applicable, indicate here: __).
Briefly describe the initiative(s) that your organization has implemented to ensure compliance with instructions related to voting (if not applicable, indicate here: __).

IV. Recruitment and Training Procedures

The following questions address recruitment and training for poll staff on election day and early voting days. We would like to know how staff are hired and trained in your jurisdiction, and how your organization has dealt with challenges during the process.

Q5. Please select the option that best describes how you recruit poll staff in your jurisdiction (select all that apply):
Type of poll staff All Some None Do not know
Full-time public servants/government employees        
Temporary employees hired specifically for election day and early voting days        
Volunteers        
Other

Please elaborate:

       
Q6. Do political parties/candidates nominate poll staff in your jurisdiction?
Yes
No
Q7. Please indicate which training methods are used to train poll staff (select all that apply):
Training Methods
Instructor-led training (group/classroom)  
Instructor-led training (one-on-one)  
Role play  
Hands-on training (i.e. practice using voting materials)  
Live training online  
Manuals/Guides/Reading materials  
Audio/Video materials  
Other (please specify ___________________________)  
Do not know  
Q8. What is the average amount of training received by poll staff?
Amount of Training Received
No training  
Less than one hour  
13 hours  
46 hours  
710 hours  
1120 hours  
2130 hours  
More than 30 hours  
Do not know/Does not apply  
Q9. Please indicate the areas in which staff receive training in your jurisdiction. (Select all that apply):
Activities Yes No/Does not apply
Voter registration requirements and verification process    
Issuing a certificate of registration    
Verifying ID or proof of address    
Recording proof of identity and/or proof of address    
Taking oaths/solemn declarations (e.g. to confirm identities of voters)    
Striking out voter's name from a list of electors once the elector has voted    
The use of voting equipment (e.g. ballot marking devices, including template for blind electors, scanners, electronic machines)    
Identifying and assisting voters with special needs    
Dealing with/recording objections from political party's/candidate's representative    
Dealing with/recording exceptional situations    
Creating/logging incident reports    
Complying with electoral law    
Interacting with the media    
Detecting fraud    
Other (please specify _____________________________)    
Q10. We would like to know if your organization has implemented any successful training initiatives to ensure that poll staff perform their duties in full accordance with instructions. These approaches may be related to the method, quantity or subject matter of training. Initiatives that are innovative or unique are of particular interest.
Briefly describe the training initiative(s) that your organization has implemented to ensure that poll staff perform their duties in full accordance with the instructions (if not applicable, please indicate here: __).

V. Compliance Monitoring and Auditing

The following questions address compliance monitoring and auditing. We are interested to know how your organization monitors and reviews voting processes to verify that poll staff are compliant with regulations.

Q11. Please indicate the methods used to monitor or supervise processes on election day or on early voting days in your jurisdiction:

Supervision/Monitoring Activities On election day only On early voting days only On election day and early voting days No/does not apply
Continuous supervision at polls by designated supervisors        
Spot visits by designated supervisors        
Scrutiny by political parties and/or candidate representatives        
Automated monitoring tools for quality assurance        
Incident reports (manually or automatically generated)
Other activities (please specify ___________________________)        
Q12. Please indicate whether the following methods are used to audit processes post-election in your jurisdiction:
Auditing Activities Yes No/Does not apply
Post-election surveys of poll staff    
Post-election surveys of voters    
Manual reviews of paper trails/documentation    
Automated tools for reviewing paper trails/quality assurance    
Evaluation by standards organizations (e.g. ISO)    
Other activities (please specify _____________________________)    

Q13. We would like to know if your organization has implemented any successful initiatives to strengthen monitoring and auditing processes at the polls. Initiatives that are innovative or unique are of particular interest.

Briefly describe initiative(s) that your organization has implemented to strengthen the monitoring/auditing processes at the polls (if not applicable, please indicate here: __).

VI. Conclusion

Q14. Do you have any additional comments that you wish to provide?

Q15. Please provide your name, title and organization

Name: _____________________________________

Title: ______________________________________

Organization: _______________________________

Thank you for your participation