Revising Agent's Manual
This chapter covers the following topics:
- 1.1 Message from Elections Canada
- 1.2 Your Oath of Office
- 1.3 General Expectations of Election Officers
- 1.4 Serving Electors
- 1.5 Privacy of Information
1.1 Message from Elections Canada
Voting is an important part of our democratic society. Revising the lists of electors is a key step in making the voting process an easy and pleasant experience for the elector. Your role in updating the lists of electors and in ensuring the accuracy and integrity of this process is essential to our success.
It is important to remember that procedures and legislation at the federal level differ from those at the provincial, territorial and municipal levels.
A section entitled Reference Material has been added to this manual. It includes: a summary of the decision taken by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in the case of Reverend Hughes, a corresponding case study, and pertinent sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act. This material is mandatory reading.
1.2 Your Oath of Office
Before you begin working, the returning officer (RO), the assistant returning officer (ARO) or a person delegated by the returning officer will administer the Appointment and Oath (for election or referendum officers) form (EC 10130).
- is your authority to act in an impartial manner as a revising agent
- must be keep with you at all times while you are working
- is also used to process your wages
Make sure the personal information on the form is accurate. Please do not lose it!
Note: Elections Canada (EC) can share your name, address and telephone numbers with other electoral agencies for electoral purposes only. If you consent to EC sharing your information, tick the consent box included on the Appointment and Oath (for election or referendum officers) form (EC 10130).
1.3 General Expectations of Election Officers
As a representative of Elections Canada, there are certain expectations of how to conduct yourself while performing your duties.
You are responsible only to your returning officer, and not to any political party or candidate.
As a revising agent, you must not participate in partisan political activities from the beginning of your appointment until the end of your term, which may extend until polling day.
This means that:
- you must not provide opinions or display material that supports or opposes a political party or candidate while performing your duties
- you must not work for any candidate or political party or attend any political functions or meetings, even in your off-duty hours
You are expected to:
- be polite at all times
- dress appropriately
- wear your Election Personnel Identification Card (EC 50210)
- carry your Appointment and Oath (for election or referendum officers) form (EC 10130)
Elections Canada is legally responsible for ensuring that all electors receive service in either official language, English or French.
In all cases, you must greet the elector in a bilingual manner:
- In person: “Bonjour, Hello.”
- Over the telephone, identify yourself as a revising agent “Elections Canada [your electoral district] Hello, Bonjour.”
- If you are unable to provide service in French, say: “Un moment, s'il-vous-plaît”, and ask someone in the office to assist you.
Note: If an elector does not speak French or English and you are therefore unable to complete the transaction, contact your revision supervisor or the returning officer.
Revising agents, though they may work in a variety of locations, are responsible for providing a smoke-free environment for electors at all times.
1.4 Serving Electors
When conducting revision activities, you are responsible for respecting electors' rights.
Follow these guidelines when you are interacting with electors:
- Treat electors with courtesy and respect.
- Protect electors' privacy when gathering personal information.
- Ensure accuracy of personal information recorded.
- Offer each elector all available options to take part in the electoral process.
- If the elector has been offered all options and his record cannot be revised at the time, inform the elector where and when to register on polling day and what the elector will need.
Electors Who Require Special Assistance
Elections Canada supports respectful assistance to electors with a disability, electors who are senior citizens, electors who are unable to read, and any other elector who requires special assistance.
Remember when Offering Assistance: Ask – Listen – Do.
Follow these guidelines when assisting electors:
- Greet the person and ask if he needs help. If the person agrees to assistance, ask what kind of assistance he needs.
- Always speak directly to the elector and give your undivided attention.
- Be patient.
- Speak calmly, slowly and directly to a person who is deaf or hard of hearing. Try writing down your instructions. Do not shout or speak in the person's ear.
- Greet a person who has a visual impairment by saying who you are and what you do. Explain the process to the elector. If this person has to sign a form, provide a guiding device, such as a ruler or card, to help the person place his signature. Ensure that the elector fully understands what he is signing.
- If an elector requires assistance to walk, offer your arm and warn him of any steps or obstacles he may encounter.
Note: Service dogs that assist an elector with seeing or for another disability must be admitted to any building. The dog must not be disturbed while carrying out its duties.
1.5 Privacy of Information
Elector information is confidential and must be safeguarded at all times.
Collecting Personal Information
Elector information is collected and securely maintained by Elections Canada, and is used for the purposes of an electoral event.
Information added to the National Register of Electors may be communicated to other provincial election agencies to update their lists of electors.
Protecting Personal Information
You must respect the privacy of elector information at all times, and treat it with care and professionalism.
You must follow these guidelines when handling private information:
- Do not share, or request elector information for a purpose that is not related to revision.
- Do not share names of previous tenants or residents when you are trying to determine who is or is not registered at the address.
- Keep all lists of electors, completed revision forms and copies of identification out of public view.
- Do not keep or take copies of revision forms or lists of electors for your personal use.
- Do not search the lists of electors out of curiosity or for a purpose that is not related to revision.
When completing revision activities using the computer:
- Do not download, install or execute programs or utilities on the returning office IT infrastructure.
- Keep your login password private, and do not share it with anyone.
Misuse or Loss of Personal Information
You must immediately advise the ARO or the AARO of any improper use or loss of elector information.
- missing documents or revision forms
- inappropriate use of the lists of electors
- improper disposal of personal information
- unauthorized access to the list of electors, or the revision computer application REVISE
Note: In the above cases, the ARO or AARO will follow up with ECHQ for a plan of action.
Disposing of Documents Containing Personal Information
To ensure the privacy and confidentiality of elector information, all materials containing sensitive information, such as elector details or identification documents, must be shredded by EC headquarters.
Follow these guidelines to dispose of documents containing personal information:
- Secure all documents containing personal information at all times, as directed by the RS.
- Do not shred documents locally.
- Include the documents in the Box marked Lot 11 (Shredding) to return to EC at the end of the event for shredding.
Note: Documents containing personal information are not to be disposed of at the office of the returning officer, but must be included in Lot 11 (shredding), and sent to EC at the end of the event.