Returning Officer's Manual
Chapter 15 – Additional Assistant Returning Officer
- 15.1 A Message to Additional Assistant Returning Officers
- 15.2 The Additional Assistant Returning Officer
- 15.3 The AARO Office
- 15.4 Election Materials Shipped before an Event
- 15.5 Storage of Election Materials
- 15.6 Shipment of Election Materials
- 15.7 Election Night, Post Polling Day and Closing-Out Activities for the AARO Office
- 15.8 Appendix A
- 15.9 Appendix B
15.1 A Message to Additional Assistant Returning Officers
The Canada Elections Act contains provisions dealing specifically with the appointment of an additional assistant returning officer (AARO). Under subsections 30(1) to (4) of the Act, the returning officer (RO) may, on request, receive authorization from the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to appoint an AARO to assist in administering the electoral process in a designated area of the electoral district (ED).
To justify the designation of one or more AARO offices during an electoral event or referendum, the following criteria must be considered:
- geographic size of the ED
- communication restrictions, including poor roadways or natural obstacles, such as rivers, lakes and mountains
- significant concentration of residents on opposite sides of the ED and at considerable distance from each other
- residents' tendency to travel to certain population centres rather than to others
- need to give electors easy access to services connected with revision, voting under the Special Voting Rules (SVR) and other special circumstances
- facilitating and improving the voting process for electors, and the electoral process in general, for political parties, candidates and the RO for that ED
The RO must inform the CEO of which polling divisions will be included in the area to be managed by each AARO. In this chapter, this area is called the "designated area."
Under subsections 27(1) and (2) of the Act, the RO may delegate, in writing, many of his or her duties to the AARO in the designated area. For particularly remote or inaccessible areas, the RO may choose to delegate more duties to the AARO appointed for those areas.
Because you have been appointed to this very important role of AARO, we are pleased to provide you with this Chapter in the Returning Officer's Manual. This Chapter was created to assist you in performing your duties and in response to the feedback we received from past elections.
As you may know, post-event evaluation sessions were held across Canada with all ROs, field liaison officers (FLOs) and a representative group of AAROs to specifically identify AARO requirements. We look forward to receiving further feedback on your role and suggestions for potential improvements to your tools, instructions and responsibilities.
This Chapter describes your own roles and functions as well as those of your office staff. For more detailed instructions, be sure to use this Chapter in conjunction with the other chapters in the Returning Officer's Manual.
15.2 The Additional Assistant Returning Officer
If requested by the RO, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) may designate remote or difficult-to-access areas in the RO's electoral district (ED). The CEO may authorize in writing the appointment of an AARO to assist in managing the electoral process for specific polling divisions in each designated area.
An AARO can be appointed only with the CEO's approval.
The RO appoints the AARO by completing and submitting to Elections Canada the Appointment and Oath of Assistant Returning Officer (EC 10100). The appropriate box must be checked to indicate that the appointment is for an AARO, not an assistant returning officer (ARO).
ss. 30(1), 30(2)
- The AARO is appointed for one event or one election and any follow-up or consultation activities that may be required after the closing of the office. The AARO may be replaced at any time. When an AARO is to be replaced, a written notification of replacement must be given to the AARO.
- A new appointment must be made or renewed before each election, upon approval of the CEO.
- An AARO who intends to resign must give written notice of resignation to the RO or, if the position of RO is vacant, to the acting RO or the CEO.
- If the AARO position becomes vacant during an event, a new AARO must be appointed.
15.2.2 Information for the Newly Appointed AARO
When you are appointed, you will receive the following from Elections Canada:
- a welcome letter
- Orientation Guide for New Returning Officers (EC 10210) (03/09)
- Information Technology Infrastructure – Acceptable Use Policy (EC 10107) (09/07)
All other forms, materials, directives and instructional documents are issued by the RO (except SVR materials, which Elections Canada sends directly). Elections Canada sends the remaining supplies to the RO, who will redirect sufficient quantities to you based on the number of polling divisions that your office serves. Refer to the Inventory/Shipping Clerk's Manual (EC 10475).
For example, the RO will provide you with the following items:
- the list of ordinary polling divisions and the list of advance polling districts established for the designated area
- a list of all polling places in the area
- various maps prepared by the Electoral Geography Division
- a poll key for the area
- a copy of the budget for the AARO office
AAROs are not involved in the filing of nomination papers; the RO deals directly with potential and confirmed candidates at all times. Should a potential candidate contact you to file his or her nomination papers, please refer the candidate to the RO.
The AARO must:
- be a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years of age on polling day, and reside in the ED
- be familiar with the geographical characteristics of the designated area, its population and the various local resources
- be familiar with the federal electoral process
- have a working knowledge of computer programs such as Microsoft Word (word processing), Excel (spreadsheets) and Outlook (e-mail), or similar programs
- be able to manage, supervise and control human, financial and material resources during an event
- be able to work under pressure and as part of a team
The following people may not serve as an AARO:
- a member of the House of Commons or Senate, or a provincial or territorial legislative assembly, or a federal, provincial or territorial cabinet
- certain judges
- a candidate from the last general election or a by-election held since the last general election
- any person who served in Parliament in the session immediately before the election or in the session in progress at the time of the election
- any person found guilty of any electoral offence in the last seven years
15.2.4 Restrictions on Political Activity
In accordance with the Canada Elections Act, the AARO may not be a candidate or act as an agent or auditor of any political entity.
Note: The AARO is permitted to vote.
Code of Professional Conduct
The AARO is subject to the same conflict of interest rules as the RO. Refer to the Code of Professional Conduct for Election Administrators in Chapter 21 of this manual.
During your mandate, you must comply with all restrictions associated with your position.
- You must refrain from taking any action, making any gesture or expressing any opinion that could be considered politically partisan.
- You must not be affiliated with any political party or make a contribution to a political party, and you must refrain from engaging in any political activity or attending political meetings.
- There must be no conflict of interest between your personal and your professional activities.
- You may not deal in any way with the broadcast or print media. If you receive a request from the media, contact the RO immediately with detailed information. The RO will ensure that either the field liaison officer (FLO) or the regional media advisor returns the call by the requested deadline. If the RO is unavailable, call the FLO for your area.
Remuneration for the AARO is set in the Federal Elections Fees Tariff (the "Tariff").
The Tariff sets the fees you will be paid during an electoral event as well as the hourly rate for work you perform pre-writ and post event at the CEO's request. The Tariff also fixes the hourly rates of your staff members.
The RO will provide you with a copy of the most current Tariff. An updated version is also available on the Elections Canada website.
15.2.6 Designated Area
The RO will give you the following information and documentation, in addition to the election materials mentioned previously:
- a description of the boundaries of the designated area for which you will be responsible
- the polling divisions in your designated area (including maps and written descriptions)
- a list of all municipalities included in your designated area
- the number of electors by polling division
- a list of the polling places in the designated area used in the previous election and/or alternative polling places
- the recruitment and outreach action plans for your area
- the various editions of lists of electors for your area throughout the election period
- the budget allocated for the AARO office, for which you will be responsible
15.2.7 Delegation of Authority
Pursuant to section 27 of the Canada Elections Act, the RO may delegate the following tasks to an AARO, with the CEO's prior approval. This delegation must be made in writing.
- recruiting and appointing the election workers required in the designated area, in accordance with the provisions of the Act, with the exception of the special ballot coordinator (SBC), who is not an election worker, but rather is a member of the RO's staff
- supervising and/or training election workers for the designated area
- confirming or, in some cases, choosing suitable facilities for ordinary, advance and mobile polls and for registration desks in your area of responsibility, where required
- approving pending transactions in REVISE
- certifying accounts for payment
- managing and monitoring registration under the SVR and special ballot voting at your office
- issuing transfer certificates, where required (EC 10190)
- monitoring the counting of votes on election night for the ordinary, advance and mobile polls in the designated area
- coordinating the return of ballot boxes from the designated area to the RO office for the validation of results
Once you have been appointed as AARO, the RO is responsible for giving you a five-hour training session. The curriculum is at the RO's discretion.
You assist the RO with the electoral event duties for which you have been appointed. A detailed job description can be found in 5.3, Additional Assistant Returning Officer of this manual.
The AARO may administer oaths and affirmations. See Chapter 7, The Event Begins in this manual.
The AARO cannot replace the RO if he or she becomes unable to act or resigns. The AARO is not required to be present at the RO office
- on the closing day for nominations
- for validation of the results
- on election day
subss. 30(3), 30(4)
The AARO is required to be in the office if the SBC has been appointed but has to leave the office.
Increase Access to the Vote
This is the primary task for which you have been appointed. You must plan and organize access to voting so that electors may exercise their right to vote under the best possible conditions. Furthermore, you must ensure that the event is conducted in a manner satisfactory to candidates and political parties.
Administer the Canada Elections Act
You must ensure that
- office staff and other election workers work within the requirements of the Canada Elections Act
- revision and voting processes fully comply with the requirements of the Act
- peace and order are preserved throughout the electoral process so that electors may exercise their right to vote under the best possible conditions
Carry out Pre-Writ Assignments
The RO may ask you to help carry out pre-event assignments, such as searching for potential office space for yourself and your staff, selecting potential polling sites, updating the National Register of Electors and planning targeted revision. Other tasks you may be asked to help with relate to electoral geography or to action plans in anticipation of the next election.
Manage Human Resources
You recruit, direct and monitor the work of personnel; supervise and/or conduct the training of election workers; and administer the appointment and oath forms.
Open and Outfit the AARO Office
At the issue of the writ, your first priority is to rent and open an office that both meets the needs of electors in your area and satisfies Elections Canada standards. A potential office that meets these criteria should have been identified before the issue of the writ during a pre-event planning assignment in which you may have participated with the RO. If this was done, you need only confirm that the office space is still available and confirm the rental.
You are also responsible for outfitting your office with rented furniture, equipment (photocopier) and the necessary supplies. You should discuss these needs with your RO and ensure that you stay within the allocated budget.
Elections Canada will provide telephone and computing equipment directly to your office, when the election is called.
Currently, only the RO can sign the Lease for Returning Officer's Office (EC 10015).
The AARO has the same security responsibilities as the ARO has in the returning office. These responsibilities include physical security, computer security and staff security. See Chapter 7, 7.5.3, Security of this manual for details.
We would like to highlight two items that have recently been added to those responsibilities:
- The AARO will maintain a key register for the AARO office. The register will record the key tag number, the name and signature of the person receiving the key, the date of issue, the date of return and the initials of the person responsible when the key is returned.
- The AARO or designated office staff will maintain a visitor register that contains information of every person visiting the AARO officer. The register will record the first and last name and signature of the visitor, the name of the contact person, the time in and time out, and the designated person's initials. Electors voting in the AARO office do not need to be recorded in this register.
Manage the Budget
As part of your mandate, you are responsible for managing your office budget. You must verify all receipts, invoices and staff time sheets and forward them to the financial officer for the ED, in accordance with the RO's instructions. The financial officer will submit these items to the RO for approval in due course.
The RO will give you the allocated budget for the AARO office, extracted from the ED's overall budget.
You are allotted $500 as petty cash during an electoral event to pay for small disbursements. The financial officer or RO will advise you which expenses can be paid through petty cash. No staff can be paid from petty cash. You are responsible for reconciling and submitting accounts to the RO as soon as possible or within the time frame the RO has set.
Communicate with the RO during an Event
The RO will discuss various methods of communication available, depending on geography, between the two offices. Communication may, at the RO's discretion, be conducted in the following manner:
- by email
- by teleconference once a week
- by cell phone
- through periodic written status reports faxed to the RO office
- using other methods of communication, as instructed by the RO
15.3 The AARO Office
The AARO must open and manage an office during an event. Terms and rental rates must be approved by the RO and Elections Canada before the rental agreement is signed. Only the RO can sign the lease. The office must be established in a suitable public building – one that is easily reached by all electors in the designated area, provides level access and is accessible.
15.3.1 Office Requirements
You should discuss the location and rental of the AARO office with your RO. Refer to 2.1, The Local Elections Canada Office in Chapter 2 of this manual.
Consider the following requirements when choosing an AARO office:
- an area for a private office for you, if possible
- an area for the revising agents to receive electors wishing to update their registration information or to register
- a closed-off area near the revision centre, if possible, where the SBC can receive electors wishing to register and vote by special ballot, as well as candidates' representatives who may want to observe proceedings
- a separate secure area to sort and store various election materials and supplies out of public view
- a general work area for regular office tasks
- a working area for each staff member, if the CEO has authorized additional office staff (such as a receptionist or office clerk)
- a quiet area where training sessions for poll workers can be held, if training is conducted on site; additional locations may also be required throughout the designated area to hold other training sessions
- an eating area for staff who work long hours, if possible
- sufficient space for polling night activities (to receive and sort ballot boxes, etc.)
- accessibility: The office must be accessible. ROs should do their best to ensure that the office space meets all mandatory criteria in the Accessibility Checklist (EC 12152) and, as far as possible, all non-mandatory criteria. By ensuring that all mandatory criteria are met, you will comply with the orders in the Human Rights Decision in the case of Rev. Hughes. The Canada Elections Act requires that any location used for voting have level access.
15.3.2 Office Hours
The office must be open to the public during the hours set by the CEO – that is, the same hours as the RO office:
- Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (except on Day 9, the second day of advance polls, when the office must be open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
- Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (except on Day 8, the third day of advance polls, when the office must be open from 9:00 a.m.to 9:00 p.m.)
- On Day 1, the day before election day, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
15.3.3 Office Activities and Staff
You are responsible for planning work schedules, supervising employees and evaluating employees for future elections. Every two weeks, you must also approve the hours worked by office staff and fax the appropriate report to the RO for submission to Elections Canada, in accordance with the RO's instructions.
Your office staff carries out the activities described in the sections below.
Special Voting Rules
Every AARO office must have at least one special ballot coordinator (SBC), appointed by the RO to manage registration and voting under the Special Voting Rules (SVR – voting by special ballot). The SBC is also responsible for supervising the office when you are absent.
For more information, see 5.36, Special Ballot Coordinator of this manual and the Special Ballot Coordinator's Manual (EC 78690).
You are responsible for managing revision activities in the AARO office. Revisions must be recorded in the REVISE application. Two revising agents work as a team to receive electors' requests. To facilitate shift work, more than one team should be trained. Each revising agent must receive a copy of the Revising Agent's Manual (EC 40240). Please refer to the Manual for Revision Supervisors (EC 40231) and the REVISE User's Guide (EC 40238) for the training and materials that revising agents require to do their job.
The revision procedures are described in those manuals as well as in Chapter 8 of this manual.
Forms that are to be used in the office will be sent in limited amounts. More can be photocopied as needed or ordered from Elections Canada headquarters through your RO.
Targeted revision is an outreach initiative devised to address the needs of certain categories of electors who are more likely than others not to appear on the preliminary lists of electors (PLE) at their current address.
As the PLE is produced with data from the National Register of Electors, it is expected that certain electors will not appear on the list at their current home address because they have recently moved. If nothing were done to promote the revision of these elector records ahead of the election period, many of these electors would not receive a voter information card (VIC) at their correct address and would have to register on polling day. In high-mobility areas, this would result in overload at registration desks and the inconvenience of long lines for voters. Targeted revision also provides the following benefits:
- improved elector awareness of the electoral process
- improved accuracy of the list of electors
- reduced polling day registration
Targeted revision begins on Day 29 of the election calendar and ends, at the latest, on Day 6 at the close of revision.
Targeted revision is directed at electors living in:
- New Residential Developments
- High Mobility Areas
- Post-secondary Institutions and Residences
- Long-term Care Facilities
- First Nations Reserves
Revising agents carrying out targeted revision use the Application for Revision or Registration on the List of Electors (EC 40030). Completed elector registration and revision forms are faxed back to the RO office to be processed in REVISE.
Note: Electors living in long-term care facilities may use the yellow copy of the Application for Revision or Registration on the List of Electors (EC 40030) as proof of address when they vote. They will still need another piece of identification as proof of identity.
Discuss targeted revision plans with the RO and, if possible, the revision supervisor. While you will supervise staff working out of your office, targeted revision is mainly the revision supervisor's responsibility. He or she oversees the work of revising agents for targeted revision and provides the addresses for door-to-door visits.
For detailed information on targeted revision, refer to the Revising Agents Manual (EC 40240). 5.33, Revising Agent of this manual also contains useful information on conducting targeted revision.
Note: Ensure that AARO office staff follows the same confidentiality guidelines as staff working in the RO office.
Suspected Cases of Double Voting
There are a number of instances where office staff may be required to complete research to ensure that double voting has not occurred. This is identified when the elector comes to vote and is already crossed off as having voted, or when the revising agents or data entry clerks are striking electors in REVISE as voted by special ballot or at an advance poll, and the elector is already crossed off as voted. In these cases, research must be completed to determine whether an administrative error has occurred, or if this is a potential instance of double voting.
If the revising agent or data entry clerk indicates that the elector is crossed off in REVISE as a national elector, you will need to provide a scanned copy of the Correction Certificate (EC 50051) to Elections Canada headquarters (ECHQ) and notify your RO.
When an elector comes to vote and is crossed off as voted, and they insist they have not voted, the deputy returning officer (DRO) will administer Oath 4: crossed off as voted on the Correction Certificate (EC 50051). The DRO and the elector will both sign the form.
The following table indicates which tools the SBC or revision clerk must use to determine if this is a potential instance of double voting:
|Box checked on Correction Certificate||Research required: Document to check voting status against|
|I have voted by special ballot||Application for Registration and Special Ballot – Local Elector (EC 78530)|
|I have voted at an advance poll||Record of Votes Cast at the Advance Polling Station (EC 50080)|
|I have voted at this polling station||N/A|
Please note that if an elector says they have not voted at the polling station and the poll clerk struck their name in error, there is no way to verify this information.
If you suspect that an elector may have voted a second time, contact the RO. You will be required to scan and send any supporting documents for review.
Note: If a suspected case of double voting is identified after polling day, or the elector has voted nationally by special ballot, the research cannot be performed at the AARO office because the white copies of the Record of Votes Cast at the Advance Polls (EC 50080) and the Application for Registration and Special Ballot – Local Elector (EC 78560) have been shipped to the returning office. You must scan and send any suspect certificates to the returning office as soon as possible so that the research may be performed.
Outreach activities respond to the unique needs and circumstances of your electoral district (ED), including your designated area. While the RO will have drawn up an action plan for outreach activities in your designated area before the writ is issued, ensure that you and the RO discuss any requirements for a community relations officer.
Community relations officers are hired to work with six population groups based on the following criteria:
- Aboriginal people – when any area within an ED has a Métis settlement, at least one Aboriginal reserve, an Inuit hamlet or a friendship centre, or when at least 5 percent of the total population of the ED is Aboriginal
- ethnocultural communities – when any area within an ED has more than 20 percent of the population reporting ancestry from non-Charter groups (backgrounds other than British, French and Aboriginal) – a significant ethnocultural population
- youth – when an area within an ED reports that 10 percent or more of its population is between 18 and 24 years of age and/or has a post-secondary educational institution; or when an ED has a significant population of young people or one or more post-secondary institution(s)
- homeless individuals – when an ED has a shelter providing 100 beds for people who are homeless or a significant transient population; or when an ED has a significant number of facilities offering shelter or services for people with no fixed address
- seniors – when an ED has one or more long-term care facilities
- accessibility – when an ED has groups or agencies representing or providing services to electors with disabilities
Materials will be shipped to your office as soon as possible from the RO office. Please refer to the Guide for Community Relations Officers (EC 10019) for further details on outreach activities that you could be called upon to manage.
Additional Support Staff
If the volume of calls and the workload require hiring support staff, contact your RO. If the RO agrees with your request, he or she will submit a request to the Electoral Coordination Help Desk on your behalf for additional funding to cover the costs of temporary staff.
These employees are paid according to the Federal Elections Fees Tariff. (Refer to the schedule of requirements and fees in the section 7.4.9, Payment of Staff in the RO Office, in Chapter 7 of this manual.)
15.3.4 Office Set-Up
With the RO's approval, you are responsible for outfitting the AARO office with the necessary furniture, equipment and supplies. This manual contains guidelines for office furniture and equipment as well as the purchase of supplies. Refer to Appendix A at the end of this Chapter for total permitted rental costs.
Before the writ is issued, the RO will provide you with a smart phone for general communication and a wireless modem to be used in the AARO office.
If you require a photocopier, you may rent one for general use. All rental agreements must ensure 24-hour service. Whenever possible, the paper and toner (ink) should be included in the rental fee. You should discuss this matter with your RO and ensure that you stay within the allocated budget.
Installation of Telephone Lines
Elections Canada will arrange for telephone service and office equipment to be installed in your office, and will be billed directly for the costs. The telephone company will install four traditional single-line sets, toll-free service and one fax line, to be distributed as follows:
- a telephone line for your exclusive use
- a line for the revising agents
- at least one toll-free line for calls from the public (assigned by Elections Canada)
- a line and toll-free service for the fax machine
Your RO will inform you if more than four lines will be installed in your office.
Installation of telephone lines is coordinated centrally by Elections Canada. A technician will contact you to set up a time for installing the lines at the issue of the writ and for decommissioning them at the end of the election period. You must oversee these activities.
The new AARO business model includes the delivery, installation, testing, support and decommissioning of all computer equipment. As a result, we expect that the AARO will be able to focus more time on the business of elections and less on computer-related matters. The AARO office equipment will include three work stations for the office and a laptop for the training officer to use.
The AARO office will be equipped with new networked computers with connectivity to the Internet, to ECHQ and to the REVISE system. This new equipment and REVISE functionality will allow for elector information to be added, struck or revised directly onto the REVISE application in the AARO office. The REVISE application will be accessible throughout the event calendar.
As mentioned above, before the writ is issued, the RO will provide the AARO with a wireless modem. When the AARO office is opened, the AARO must bring this modem to the office. The IT technician will need it to successfully set up the AARO computer systems.
Installation and Removal of the AARO Network Computers
AARO workstations should not be accessible to the public. The monitors should be positioned to ensure that elector information cannot be viewed by the public.
As soon as the AARO address for the event has been confirmed, the IT contractor will install the computers.
Each AARO will receive an encrypted USB key containing the OS Guest image, so the IT contractor can install the applications on the computers. The IT contractor will do the following:
- contact the AARO with the estimated delivery date for hardware to the AARO office
- schedule the set-up and installation of the network and computers
- install and test the hardware within three calendar days of the office address confirmation
- install, test and secure the Internet hardware and software (this includes any cabling or wireless set-up)
- obtain the AARO's sign-off that all hardware is installed and working properly and that the Internet connection is working
- After the event ends, the contractor will call the AARO to set up an estimated deinstallation date to remove the equipment.
- Before the deinstallation, the AARO will perform a purging routine on each of the three workstations, to remove all electoral data from the computers.
- The contractor will obtain the AARO's signature to confirm that the deinstallation procedure is complete and the equipment has been recovered.
The AARO office computer will be connected to the Elections Canada network via the Internet. This will ensure that elector information and other data is updated and shared in a timely fashion. The networked computers will give the AARO access to
- REVISE – REVISE is a web-based application used to perform all elector revision transactions, including data entry of polling day registration and correction certificates. (Please refer to Appendix A of the Automation Coordinator's Manual (EC 10500) for procedures and the REVISE User's Guide (EC 40238) for use of REVISE. Please contact the automation coordinator at the RO office for answers to additional questions related to the use of Elections Canada systems and applications.)
- Webmail – Outlook Web Access is the e-mail system used in the returning office and the AARO office during an event. It is crucial that you check for new messages throughout the day and evening, as Elections Canada will primarily communicate with your office through the office e-mail account. You will also use Outlook Web Access to send messages to Elections Canada, with or without attachments.
- MS Word – Use Word to read or create documents that are mainly text, such as letters, lists and forms. To open the program, double – click on the desktop icon.
- MS Excel – Use Excel to read or create documents that are mainly numbers, such as spreadsheets, charts, graphs and databases. To open the program, double – click on the desktop icon.
- Adobe Reader – Use Acrobat to view PDF files, which we use for many manuals and forms. Acrobat opens as soon as you click on a document with a pdf extension. It is only a viewer – you cannot make changes to this type of document.
- ECDocs – This is Elections Canada's repository of the most up-to-date versions of the operational manuals, user guides, calendars, forms and checklists in both official languages.
- Field Personnel Intranet – The Field Personnel Intranet contains the day-to-day tools required to manage an AARO office efficiently.
- Event Delivery Dashboard – AAROs will be granted read-only access to the self-serve Event Delivery Dashboard (EDD) monitoring tool to track the delivery, set-up, deinstallation and return of the networked computers. The EDD tool link will be available through the Field Personnel Intranet page.
Protection of Information
Elector personal information is protected through legislation. The Privacy Act requires that personal information be safeguarded, and that all data collected by Elections Canada be used only for the purposes set out in the Canada Elections Act.
It is your overall responsibility to ensure that information is kept secure at all times. Follow these steps to secure the office and to ensure that sensitive information in the office is safeguarded.
- Keep all computers and additional office IT infrastructure in a secure location.
- Keep the password sheet provided to you in a secure location.
- Ensure that all lists and completed forms are stored out of public view in a secure location.
- Ensure that all revision centre documents and information are locked up in a filing cabinet.
- Ensure that all revision centre staff keep electors' personal information private.
- Ensure that only authorized software and tools are installed on the AARO office IT infrastructure.
Resolve and inform EC of procedural security breaches, such as
- illegal downloading, installation or execution of unauthorized programs or utilities on the office network
- missing documents containing personal information, including incomplete registration forms
- misuse of election materials or equipment, or the making of unauthorized copies of lists of electors
- failure to comply with procedures regarding the security of personal information
15.4 Election Materials Shipped before an Event
Before a possible event, Elections Canada will ship you all the materials you need to manage the Special Voting Rules (SVR) and open your office. The packages of election materials will be sent directly to your home by courier. Your signature is required upon receipt; if you are not home when the materials arrive, the courier will leave a notification card and the packages will be returned to the post office nearest you. You can then pick them up when it is convenient for you.
15.4.1 The Initial Shipment to Your Home
Before the writ is issued, you will receive an initial shipment of materials so you can open your office when the election is called. Refer to the section 1.8, Managing Election Materials, in Chapter 1 of this manual for information and instructions that may also apply to you.
All the materials that the SBC needs to begin special ballot registration and voting, including 1,500 special ballots, will be sent to you when the writ is issued, or to the RO prior to the issue of the writ, if possible. It is very important that the SBC keep a record of all the special ballots that have been shipped. For detailed information, refer to the Special Ballot Coordinator's Manual (EC 78690), specifically the section Ballot Papers in an Additional Office.
The lists of materials shipped to your home is in Appendix B at the end of this chapter.
Note: Materials destined for electors in Quebec are identified with a "-1" after the EC number; they provide the information in French first. (For example, see Appendix B-1)
15.5 Storage of Election Materials
The initial shipment of election materials will have to be stored at your home. If this is not feasible, you should rent commercial storage space. Before doing so, you must obtain two quotes from local commercial storage companies and submit the quotes to the RO for approval.
15.5.1 Storage Fee
It is estimated that each AARO will need approximately 25 cubic feet of space to store the election materials before the issue of the writ.
The Tariff of Fees (currently under review) allows $40.00 per month for the storage of election materials at the AARO's home until the issue of the writ. To be reimbursed for this amount (in March or September), you must submit a special account form to the RO.
Note: Remember to advise the RO and Elections Canada of any change to your current address or telephone number(s).
15.6 Shipment of Election Materials
At the time the writ is issued, expect to receive shipments of materials and electoral documents. You will find below the approximate calendar of delivery.
15.6.1 Essential Election Materials during an Election
As soon as possible after the writ is issued, the RO office will ship the following election materials to your office:
- approximately 20 bills of lading for Priority Courier
- two RO election calendars, large poster size
- a copy of the preliminary lists of electors
- a copy of the alphabetical list of electors
- a copy of the geographical list of electors
- a copy of the poll key
- a roll of maps, showing the polling divisions in your ED
- materials for targeted revision
- promotional materials for outreach activities
Contact the inventory control clerk in the RO office if anything is missing or if you do not receive this material in a timely fashion.
You will also receive the following:
- Notice of Election (between days 35 and 32)
Once EC approves the Notice of Election (EC 10020), the RO will fax you a copy of the notice to post in your office. Refer to Chapter 2, Pre-Event and Pre-Writ Tasks of this manual for more information.
- List of Candidates Verification Report (soon after Day 19; to be used by the SBC)
EC produces the List of Candidates Verification Report (EC 10043), listing the names of all confirmed candidates exactly as they will appear on the ballot, and sends it to the RO (Day 19, after 2 p.m.).
- Notice of Advance Polls and Notice of Grant of a Poll (by Day 16)
Upon approval from EC, the RO will forward copies of the Notice of Advance Polls (EC 10140) and Notice of Grant of a Poll (EC 10170). Refer to Chapter 2, Pre-Event and Pre-Writ Tasks of this manual for more information.
- Notice of Mobile Poll (by Day 13)
Upon approval from Elections Canada and where applicable, the RO will forward a copy of the Notice of Mobile Poll (EC 10160). Refer to Chapter 2 of this manual for more information.
Note: Election workers' manuals are now stored on the Elections Canada website as PDF files. This makes them available for downloading and printing if you do not receive enough copies in a timely fashion. To access the files, go to www.elections.ca/ecdocs.
15.6.2 Materials for Advance Poll Training and for Advance Polls
As soon as they are available, and by Day 13 at the latest, you will receive the following from the RO:
- the election materials that DROs, poll clerks, information officers, registration officers and central poll supervisors will use at the advance polls; for the lists of materials, refer to the Deputy Returning Officer and Poll Clerk Guidebook: Advance Polls (EC 50300), the Central Poll Supervisor Guidebook: Advance Polls (EC 50354), the Registration Officer Guidebook (EC 50357) and the Information Officer Guidebook (EC 50356)
- the kits that DROs and poll clerks will use; you will find the list of articles in the Deputy Returning Officer and Poll Clerk Guidebook: Advance Polls (EC 50300)
- additional materials to cover any last-minute incidents (discuss with the RO to identify needs)
- the completed Appointment and Oath (EC 10130) forms for election workers who are working at the advance polling stations (you may be asked to swear them in at a training session if this is not being done by a training officer)
- preprinted Statement of the Vote (EC 50100) for each advance polling station
- the revised lists of electors (by Day 13): It is possible that the revised lists of electors will not be available until Day 13 and that training will have to start before then. In this case, the list of electors for one or two polling divisions can be printed in the AARO office for training purposes. The first shipment of materials (without the lists of electors) will therefore arrive at your office before training begins. A second shipment will be sent as soon as the revised lists of electors are available.
- Statement of Changes (by Day 11): The Statement of Changes is a report printed from REVISE at the end of Day 11 to reflect any changes made to the list of electors since it was produced on Day 15. The Statement of Changes is prepared for the advance polls and allows electors who registered after Day 15 to appear on the list. It completes the revised lists of electors and must be handed out to the DROs. The RO will probably send it to your office by fax.
15.6.3 Materials for Ordinary Poll Training and for Election Day
As soon as they are available and by Day 9 at the latest, you will receive the following items from the RO:
- the election materials that DROs and poll clerks, information officers, registration officers and central poll supervisors will use at the ordinary polling stations; for the lists of materials, refer to the Deputy Returning Officers' and Poll Clerks' Guidebook for Ordinary Polls (EC 50340), the Deputy Returning Officers' and Poll Clerks' Guidebook Mobile Polls (EC 50320), the Central Poll Supervisor's Guidebook Ordinary Poll (EC 50355), the Registration Officers Guidebook (EC 50357) and the Information Officers' Guidebook (EC 50356)
- additional materials to handle any last-minute incidents (see the RO to identify needs)
- the completed Appointment and Oath for Election Officers (EC 10130) for election workers who are working on polling day; you may have to swear in these officers during their training session, unless this is done by a training officer
As soon as they are available, between days 5 and 3, you will receive:
- two copies of the official lists of electors: one set must be broken down by polling station and added to the kit for each appropriate DRO
- an updated copy of the poll key
- the alphabetical list of electors by polling site, for use by registration officers
- pre-printed copies of the Statement of the Vote (EC 50100) for each polling station, to be used after the close of the polls on election day
15.6.4 Special Ballot Materials to Be Shipped to the RO Office from the AARO Office
Immediately after special ballot registration ends at 6:00 p.m. on Day 6, the special ballot coordinator (SBC) in the AARO office has three hours to assemble all the documents that must be returned to the RO office for the verification of the outer envelopes and the count of local special ballots and to prepare for shipment all national special ballots that must be returned to Elections Canada headquarters. The SBC must open the ballot boxes in your presence and in the presence of the candidates (if any are present). There is no requirement for witnesses for the unsealing of the ballot box if candidate representatives are not present.
Local Special Ballots
The SBC must package the local outer envelopes in a large brown envelope (EC 11520) to be returned to the RO office for the count. (If the SBC has issued local voting kits to electors and those electors have not returned their outer envelopes to the SBC by Day 6, the AARO must send the outer envelopes to the SBC at the RO office if they are brought to the AARO office between Day 6 and polling day.)
The SBC will place everything in a ballot box, seal it and return it without delay to the RO office, according to arrangements made by your RO. The SBC should use the fastest and most secure means of delivery.
National Special Ballots
The SBC must package all national outer envelopes in a large brown envelope (EC 11520), to be returned to ECHQ before the deadline using the fastest and most secure means of delivery. (If the SBC has issued national voting kits to electors and those electors have not returned their outer envelopes to the SBC by Day 6, the AARO must send the outer envelopes to ECHQ if they are brought to the AARO office between Day 6 and polling day.)
The SBC's duties in the AARO office end at 9:00 p.m. on Day 6. Refer to the Special Ballot Coordinator's Manual (EC 78690), specifically the section entitled Electoral Districts with AARO Offices.
15.7 Election Night, Post Polling Day and Closing-Out Activities for the AARO Office
On election night, you must be prepared to receive the material from the polling stations in your area. Please refer to the 18.7, Election Night Checklist (RO Office), in Chapter 18 of this manual for set-up instructions.
15.7.1 Essential Documents to Be Shipped to the RO after Election Night
Items to be processed and shipped to the RO office urgently
On Day -1, you must send the following election-related materials to the RO:
- White Copy of the Statement of the Vote Envelope (EC 50370) containing the white copy of the signed Statement of the Vote (EC 50100)
- original copies of Statement of Electors Who Voted on Polling Day at the Polling Station envelopes (EC 50385)
- Oath of Residence Certificates Envelope (EC 50422)
- any pink copies of Transfer Certificates (EC 10190) issued
- alphabetical lists of electors by polling site (used by registration officers and IO) included in the Large All-Purpose Envelopes (EC 11520)
- the sealed Ballot Boxes (EC 50250) received from each polling station in your designated area
- signed Organizing and Returning Material (EC 50020), Organizing and Returning Material for Advance Polls (EC 50026) and Daily Organizing and Returning Material for Advance Polls (EC 50025) posters
Items to be data entered in the AARO office and then shipped to the RO
- Registration and/or Correction Certificates Envelope (EC 50390), containing completed Registration Certificates (EC 50050) and Correction Certificates (EC 50051) for each polling station in your designated area
- The registrations and corrections need to be integrated into the list of electors as soon as possible after the close of polls. You may use revising agents as data entry clerks to enter the certificates in REVISE after polling day
Items to be shipped as soon as possible
- VIC Collection Box (EC 50255)
- Accessibility Envelope (EC 50122)
- Candidates' Representatives Authorization Forms Envelope (EC 50423)
- Advance Poll Transportation Bag (EC 50253)
- Transport Bag – Ordinary Ballot Box (EC 50254)
- magnifier (with light)
- completed Kilometre Logs (EC 11700) from election workers
- completed Time Sheets for the Election Worker (EC 11655)
- if necessary, receipts for the rental of cell phones for some election workers
Once all the materials have been forwarded to the RO, you will continue closing out your office on Day -3 to -5, or as soon as possible after that.
15.7.2 Post-Polling Day Data Capture
Give the envelopes (EC 50390) containing Registration Certificates (EC 50050) and/or Correction Certificates (EC 50051) for each polling station in your designated area to your data entry clerks to enter into REVISE. Ensure that proper local and national searches are done before electors are added.
Enter the completed Accessibility Checklist (EC 12152) in the Field Personnel Intranet. Once data capture is complete, you will continue closing out your office.
Please refer to Appendix A of the Automation Coordinator's Manual (EC 10500) for close-out procedures.
15.7.3 Return of Remaining Documents
The documents below should be returned to the RO office once data capture of the polling day registrations and corrections is complete.
- completed Time Sheets for Election Workers (EC 11655)
- envelopes (EC 50390) containing Registration Certificates (EC 50050) and/or Correction Certificates (EC 50051) for each polling station in your designated area
- completed Accessibility Checklist(s) (EC 12152)
- if necessary, receipts for the rental of cell phones for some election workers
- any material requiring shredding
15.7.4 Return of Equipment and Supplies
After the event ends, the IT contractor will call the AARO to set up a time to remove the equipment.
Rented Furniture and Equipment
Any furniture and/or equipment (e.g., photocopier) rented from local suppliers must be returned prior to closing your office.
You must also send (possibly in a separate shipment) the following items to the RO:
- Voter Information Card (VIC) Collection Boxes (EC 50255), containing all the VICs collected at the polling sites; try to compact the VICs into one parcel and recycle all the empty boxes, making sure that all the VICs have been removed from the boxes before recycling
- all the materials from your office, placed in the appropriate boxes and identified by lot numbers, in accordance with the procedures established for returning materials (Refer to 14.11, Return of Election Materials Checklists in this manual)
- unused office supplies, accompanied by the duly completed inventory form (see 18.11, List of Reusable Office Supplies and Materials in Chapter 18 of this manual)
- reconciliation of petty cash with accompanying receipts
- audiovisual equipment provided by the RO office (e.g., television, screen, projector), if any
Once all Elections Canada supplies have been shipped to the RO, you must confirm the closing-out of the office by calling the RO with the shipment details.
15.8 Appendix A
|Description||Number of Hours of Work||Rate* Set||Total* for Election Period|
|Additional assistant returning officer (AARO)||During office hours of AARO office||$13,441.03|
|Special ballot coordinator||During office hours of the RO or AARO office 37 and 31 days respectively||$16.73/hr|
|Revising agents (2)||As determined by the RO||$13.32/hr||To be completed|
|Training officer (if applicable)||As determined by the RO||$20.38/hr|
|Description||Total* for Election Period|
|Office rental (approximately 1,500 square feet)||On approval by the Logistics and Infrastructure Group|
|Equipment (see list in Returning Officer's Manual)||$500|
*Amounts are approximate. Refer to your official budget for exact amounts.
**See Table 2b:, Budget Guidelines: Office Furniture and Equipment by Population (under review) in Chapter 2 of this manual.
Note: Any additional funds must be pre-approved by calling the RO, who will, in turn, submit a special request to the Electoral Coordination Help Desk for approval.
*** Budgets to be confirmed ***
15.9 Appendix B
|38||Accessories and material for AARO office|
|38-A||AARO Material – Manuals|
|39-A||Material for Special Ballot Coordinators|
|39-B||Kit for Special Ballot Coordinators|