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Returning Officer's Manual

Chapter 19 – Staffing and Training Materials

This Chapter contains lists, checklists, forms and other documents used for staffing and training poll workers and office staff.

19.1 Selection and Appointment of Election Workers

To assist in the selection and appointment of election workers, please see to the information in the following tables.

To avoid any confusion:

Note: For tariff information, refer to the Financial Officer's Manual for financial management procedures and reference tables for office workers and poll workers.



Office Staff (at the RO Office)
Position

(EO = election officer as defined by the CEA)
Qualifications required in accordance with the CEA Number Source Deadline for receipt of names
Additional assistant returning officer (AARO) (EO)
ss.30(2)
Elector in electoral district (ED) One per area designated by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) RO N/A
Assistant automation coordinator (AAC)
ss.61(1)
None One per ED RO N/A
Automation coordinator (AC)
ss.61(1)
None One per ED RO N/A
Assistant returning officer (ARO) (EO)
ss.26(1)
Elector in ED One per ED RO N/A
Community relations officer
ss. 61(1)
None As per ED profile and hours authorized, where applicable RO N/A
Deputy returning officer (DRO) (counting local special ballots) (EO)
ss. 273(1), 273(2)
Elector in ED One or more per ED (depending on number of special ballots) Registered party whose candidate came first at the last election in the ED Day 24 before election day
Financial officer (EO – only if carries out a duty of the RO)
ss. 27(1) and 61(1)
ss. 61(1) if not EO
Elector
None if not EO
One per ED per hours authorized RO N/A
Interpreter
ss. 61(1)
None Where required RO N/A
Inventory/shipping clerk
ss. 61(1)
None One per ED RO N/A
Office clerk
ss. 61(1)
None One per ED RO N/A
Office coordinator
ss. 61(1)
None One per ED with a population of over 60,000 RO N/A
Office messenger
ss. 61(1)
None One per ED RO N/A
Receptionist
ss. 61(1)
None One per ED RO N/A
Recruitment officer
ss. 61(1)
None One per ED RO N/A
Revising agent (EO)
ss.32(a), 33(1)
Elector in ED As per allocated hours Registered parties whose candidates came first and second at last election in ED Third day after the request
Revision centre clerk
ss. 61(1)
None As per allocated hours RO N/A
Revision supervisor
ss. 61(1)
None One per ED per hours authorized RO N/A
Security guard (RO office)
ss. 61(1)
None One per ED in the following circumstances:
  • during election period and until computers are picked up if there is no alarm system
  • on polling day
  • at a judicial recount
RO N/A
Special ballot coordinator (SBC) (EO – election officer only if a duty of the RO has been delegated)
ss. 27(1) and 61(1)
ss. 61(1) if not EO
Elector in ED

None if not EO
One per office of the RO/AARO.

One or more may share the allocated budget of 500 hours.
RO N/A
Training officer
ss. 61(1)
None One per ED RO N/A
Witness (at validation of results)
s. 294
Elector Where required RO N/A
Poll Workers (at Polling Places)
Position
(EO = Election Officer as defined by the CEA)
Qualifications required in accordance with the CEA Number Source Deadline for receipt of names
Central poll supervisor (CPS) (ordinary and advance polls) (EO)
ss.124(2)
Elector in ED Depending on the number of polling stations:
  • 1 for 1-7
  • 2 for 8+
RO N/A
10% additional for integrity at RO's discretion DRO (advance polls) (EO)
ss. 32(b), 34(1)
Elector in ED One per advance polling station Candidate of registered party whose candidate came first at the last election in the ED Day 24 before election day
DRO (correctional institution) (EO)
ss. 253(1)
Qualified as elector One per polling station in correctional institution RO, in consultation with liaison officer for the institution (if possible, member of John Howard Society, Elizabeth Fry Society, and so on) N/A
DRO (ordinary and mobile polls) (EO)
ss. 32(c), 34(1)
Elector in ED One per polling station Candidate of registered party whose candidate came first at the last election in the ED Day 24 before election day
Information officer (ordinary and advance polls) (EO)
par. 124(1)(a)
Qualified as elector Depending on number of polling stations:
  • 1 for 1-7
  • 2 for 8+
  • +1 added to all sites to open doors where automatic door openers are not present
RO N/A
Person responsible for maintaining order (at central poll) (EO)
par. 124(1)(b)
Qualified as elector Where required, with authorization of the CEO RO N/A
Poll clerk (advance polls) (EO)
par. 32(b), ss. 35(1)
Elector in ED One per advance polling station Candidate of registered party whose candidate came second at last election in ED Day 24 before election day
Poll clerk (correctional institution) (EO)
ss. 253(1)
Qualified as elector One per polling station in correctional institution RO, in consultation with liaison officer for the institution (if possible, member of John Howard Society, Elizabeth Fry Society, and so on) N/A
Poll clerk (counting local special ballots) (RO office) (EO)
ss. 273(1), 273(2)
Elector in ED One or more per ED (depending on number of special ballots) Registered party whose candidate came second at last election in ED Day 24 before election day
Poll clerk (ordinary and mobile polls) (EO)
par. 32(c), ss. 35(1)
Elector in ED One per polling station Candidate of registered party whose candidate came second at last election in ED Day 24 before election day
Registration officer (EO)
ss. 39(2), 39(3)
Elector in ED Depending on the number of polling stations:
  • 1 for 1-7
  • 2 for 8+
Candidates of registered parties whose candidates came first and second at last election in ED Day 24 before election day
Other Election Workers
Position
(EO = Election Officer as defined by the CEA)
Qualifications required in accordance with the CEA Number Source Deadline for receipt of names
Hospital liaison officer None Where required Hospital administrators N/A
Hospital SBC Elector in ED One or more per ED (depending on number of acute care hospitals in ED) RO N/A
Special messenger (to deliver or collect ballot boxes) (EO)
ss. 290(2)
Qualified as elector Where required RO N/A

19.2 Hiring of Office Staff Checklist

References:

19.3 Training the Office Staff Checklist

Hold a training session to discuss the electoral event and office procedures.

Ensure that your staff is familiar with pertinent electoral information, understands how to use a Poll Keyand can respond effectively to inquiries from the public, such as:

Prepare an information sheet to assist receptionists and other members of your staff to respond to inquiries from the public.

Place one information sheet beside each telephone.

19.4 Revising Agents Training Schedule

Sequence of Training Description Who Participates When It Takes Place Instructor
Pre-test (30 minutes) A computer test that comprises entering sets of names and addresses to determine basic data entry skills. All potential revising agents As soon as there is a sufficient number of revising agents. Revision supervisor
Revising Agent Instructor's Guide (EC 40234)
Module 1
(60 minutes)
Includes:
  • revision procedures and how to work as a team
  • elector eligibility and appropriate identification (ID)
All potential revising agents Days 30 to 29, if possible. Otherwise, it can be done at any time within the first week after the writ is dropped. Revision supervisor
Revising Agent Instructor's Guide (EC 40234)
Module 2
(180 minutes)
Whether using the REVISE application or forms, the three steps for a revision transaction in the RO office:
  • Search for the Elector
  • Complete the Application
  • Verify the Application
Revising agents selected to work in the RO office Days 30 to 29, if possible. Otherwise, it can be done at any time within the first week after the writ is dropped.
Note: Module 1 must be completed before Module 2 or Module 3.
Revision supervisor
Revising Agent Instructor's Guide (EC 40234)
Module 3
(120 minutes)
The steps for a targeted revision transaction:
  • the three steps for a revision transaction
  • complete the Record of Visits (EC 40106) or the Targeted Revision – Revisal Desk (EC 40107)

Revising agents selected to work on targeted revision Days 30 to 29, if possible. Otherwise, it can be done at any time within the first week after the writ is dropped.
Note: Module 1 must be completed before Module 2 or Module 3.
Revision supervisor

Resources

  • The pre-test is a set of locally selected data (use names and addresses).
  • The revision supervisor uses the Revising Agent Instructor's Guide (EC 40234) and refers to the Revision Supervisor's Manual (EC 40231).
  • All other manuals and forms required for the training can be found in the Revising Agent Instructor's Guide (EC 40234).
  • The answers to the quizzes in A Classroom Workbook for Revising Agents (EC 40290) are provided in the Revising Agent Instructor's Guide (EC 40234).

19.5 Recruitment Plan for Poll Workers

A recruitment plan is a useful document that you prepare in advance of the election to help your recruitment officer be more efficient in the recruitment of poll workers. You are encouraged to develop this plan in conjunction with your field liaison officer (FLO), if necessary. A good recruitment plan will reduce the time of research, organization and planning during the electoral calendar as well as the time devoted to the recruitment officer's training and support. An efficient recruitment strategy ensures that a sufficient number of qualified workers are recruited and trained on time for advance polls and election day.

The recruitment plan involves:

You can find a template of the Recruitment Plan (EC 10150) in ECDocs on the Field Personnel Intranet.

19.6 Contingency Plan for Opening Polling Stations on Time

19.6.1 Introduction

To ensure a successful electoral event, all polling stations for both advance and ordinary polls must open at the time prescribed by the CEA. This is a fundamental right for electors, candidates and political parties. The CEO wishes to ensure that the polling stations open in accordance with legislative requirements and that ROs are provided with the tools needed to ensure that all polling stations across the country open on time at advance polls and on election day.

This is only possible if there are enough poll officials who were properly trained before advance polls and election day.

Your contingency plan will ensure that all the advance and ordinary polls in your ED open on time. On the following pages, you will find helpful instructions in establishing your contingency plan. EC's main objective is to offer you the most flexibility possible as well as the necessary tools to ensure successful voting activities within the prescribed deadlines.

Note: Please read these instructions in their entirety before developing your contingency plan.

19.6.2 Objectives

This task is designed to:

19.6.3 Mandates

19.6.3.1 Your Mandate

You must prepare a contingency plan that will ensure the opening of all polling stations in your ED at the time prescribed by the CEA at advance polls and on election day.

EC is aware that a single formula is not applicable to the wide variety of EDs. Examine the situation within your ED regarding the number of poll officials needed to ensure that all the polling stations open on time, and plan accordingly to reflect these requirements. The following pages describe a work plan, guidelines and possible solutions.

Keeping in mind the needs for advance polls and election day, you must insist that candidates provide more names of qualified persons than the number of positions to fill, thus allowing you to appoint an adequate number of additional and stand-by poll officials. The following list must be provided to you at the latest on Day 24:

You are also responsible for the selection and appointment of:

You may wish to seek guidance from or have your contingency plan validated by your FLO. You should also expect your FLO to request updates on the progress of the contingency plan. You are not required to provide EC with a copy of your contingency plan; however, you are accountable to ensure that you have one in place.

Funds for your allotted election officials have been included in your preliminary budget.

19.6.3.2 Field Liaison Officer Mandate

The FLO's mandate is to provide advice to the RO in the preparation of contingency plans.

19.6.4 Support for the Returning Officer

Your FLO offers a personalized service based on past experience. The FLO is very familiar with the details of the task that you have been assigned and can be of assistance in developing your contingency plan or in understanding instructions.

EC nevertheless remains at your disposal and reiterates its commitment to assist should the need arise. For additional assistance, you may contact the Electoral Coordination Help Desk at 1-888-677-0301 (1-1) or by email at CE – EC.

19.6.5 Suggested Staffing Model for Improved Procedures at the Polls

The staffing model has been modified to increase integrity and compliance of the voting procedures at the polls. The roles of poll workers have been enhanced.

The CPS role has been expanded to:

Information officers pre-screen electors using the Voter Information Card, pre-printed Registration Certificates from e-registration or the Alphabetical List of Electors (by site), and remind electors of the identification requirements for voting.

Registration officers are responsible for determining if an elector is at the correct polling place and prefilling any required certificates (Registration, Correction, or Oath of Residence or Transfer (moved poll) and Transfer Register). They may request to see an elector's identification document to assist in prefilling forms.

The DRO validates elector identification, administers any required oaths and authorizes all certificates prefilled by the registration officer or poll clerk before issuing a ballot to the elector.

The poll clerk documents the proceedings at the polling station and may prefill any Registration, Correction or Oath of Residence Certificate as required.

Although a polling station must have a DRO and poll clerk to operate, we recommend the following complement of staff for improved compliance of the voting process.

Table 19a: Suggested minimal approach (ordinary or advance polls):

Poll workers at polling stations
Number of polling stations within a polling place Central Poll Supervisor (CPS)
Regular
CPS Integrity Registration officer Information officer
Recommended staffing plan 1-7 1 CPSs to be requested by ROs via special request form. Same formula as "CPS Regular"s Same formula as "CPS Regular"

An additional IO may be staffed to open doors without automatic door-openers
8+

S polling place with 11+ polling stations requires CEO approval
2

To have more than 2 CPSs, a request for additional budget must be submitted
CPSs to be requested by ROs via special request form. Same formula as "CPS Regular"s Same formula as "CPS Regular"

An additional IO may be staffed to open doors without automatic door-openers

Note: It may be difficult to staff all these positions for all polling places. You may consider a floating CPS to check in throughout the day with some single polling stations. In rural and remote areas you should have a registration officer for all polling places to assist in screening and prefilling certificates for electors.


Table 19b: Hours for Poll Workers – 42nd General Election New Staffing Model
Poll worker Calls to poll workers & pre-site check Before During Daily closing – Advance Counting and closing on election night Return of materials Total hours
Advance Polls (4 days – (x 4))
CPS
  • 2 for calls
  • 4 pre-site check
4
(1 x 4)
32
(8 x 4)
4
(1 x 4)
*supervised by CPS
Ordinary on election night
4
(1 x 4)
to return envelopes daily
50
DRO Tariff
Poll clerk Tariff
Registration officer 2

(.5 x 4)

32

(8 x 4)

2
(.5 x 4)
to assist in site pick-up
36
Information officer 2

(.5 x 4)

32

(8 x 4)

2
(.5 x 4)
to assist in site pick-up
36
Ordinary Polls
CPS
  • 3 for calls
  • 4 pre-site check
1 12 1 1 22
(+2 If AP officers are counting at the ordinary place)
DRO Tariff
Poll clerk Tariff
Registration officer .5 12 .5
to assist in site pick-up
13
Information officer .5 12 .5
to assist in site pick-up
13

Note: The pre-site check by the CPS (or designated DRO) includes visiting the polling site the week before to ensure everything is satisfactory in terms of access (e.g. calling the landlord, picking up keys, verifying furniture and polling station layout) and in terms of accessibility.

19.6.6 Additional and Stand-By Staff

To determine the number of additional and stand-by staff required, you will need to refer to your Preliminary Budget. You may use the Advance Polls Contingency Plan (EC 10040) and the Polling Day Contingency Plan (EC 10041) for planning purposes only. These forms must be completed electronically and may be shared with your FLO for input.

19.6.7 Work Plan

19.6.7.1 Examine the Situation and Assess the Risks

Consider the following in your risk analysis:

Past history
Other considerations
19.6.7.2 Identify High-Risk Areas

You must identify those polling places and groups of polling places where the current number of poll workers is likely to be inadequate if there are one or more cancellations, no shows on election day or workers who need to be replaced.

Consider the following:

Note: A solution must be found for all cases in doubt.

19.6.8 Establishing the Contingency Plan

For advance polls

The contingency plan for advance polls rests not only on the deployment of stand-by resources but also on greater flexibility in terms of hiring to adequately serve a larger anticipated number of electors. For example, in the case of an election held in June, approaching summer vacations have shown that participation rates considerably increase at advance polls. Accordingly, you should make allowances for such situations.

For further consideration in serving a larger number of electors, please refer to the following table:

Table 19c: Consideration for additional resources by advance polling station
Official/Item 11 to 20 polling divisions 21 to 35 polling divisions 36 or more polling divisions
Registration officer 0 1 2
Information officer 0 1 2
Poll clerk per polling division 1 2 3

The ED profile and expected number of advance poll electors should govern your decisions concerning this contingency plan. For example, an advance poll contingency plan will require fewer stand-by poll workers than the contingency plan for election day. However, the procedures for confirming the opening of the polls, the availability of the poll workers, the method of payment and the need to establish a contingency plan will be the same for election day.

For election day

You may have previously established a contingency plan for polling day. As with the advance poll plan, the three sections that require the most attention are staffing, material requirements and risk analysis. If possible, consult your previous contingency plan to ensure that all polling sites are problem-free as a result of resignations. Adjust the plan with the current version of the template according to these instructions, discuss it with your FLO and consider the following possible solutions.

19.6.8.1 Poll Workers on Stand-by

Only a certain number of resources on stand-by may be called upon to work as a poll worker. You should not offer them all a specific assignment.

Depending on your needs, stand-by resources assigned to the positions of CPS, DRO, poll clerk, information officer or registration officer must be ready to act as poll workers. If their services are required, ensure that they can arrive at the polling station on time. If some of the sites are far from the RO office, ensure that the stand-by workers have their own vehicle or live near the polling site to which they could be assigned. A certain number of workers may require training as stand-by CPSs, and will be trained as DRO/poll clerks, information officers, registration officers and CPSs. Use the services of stand-by CPSs as follows:

19.6.8.2 Contents of the Contingency Plan

The contingency plan must also take into account:

19.6.8.3 Implementing the Contingency Plan

To implement your contingency plan efficiently, you should:

19.6.9 Procedures for Confirming the Opening of Polls for Advance Polls and on Election Day

To ensure and monitor that advance and ordinary polls will open on time, follow the procedures in this section.

19.6.9.1 Initial Process

A polling station cannot open unless both the DRO and the poll clerk are present.

CPSs should arrive at the polling place at least 60 minutes before the opening of the polling stations and confirm their arrival with you.

The DROs and poll clerks should arrive at the polling place at least 45 minutes before the opening of the polling stations. CPSs, or designated DROs in certain cases, must confirm their arrival with you.

Registration and information officers should arrive at the polling place at least 30 minutes before the opening of the polling stations and confirm their arrival with the CPS or designated DRO.

19.6.9.2 Procedures to Confirm the Availability of Poll Workers
On Sunday before election day:
On the morning of election day

You may choose to have someone call the DROs and poll clerks in areas they feel are at greater risk, such as remote and rural areas. If necessary, invoke and deploy the contingency plan.

Forty-five minutes before the opening of the polling stations:

19.6.10 Payments for Stand-by Poll Workers

Ensure that the financial officer understands the method of payment for the stand-by poll workers who are trained to act as the CPS, DRO, poll clerk or registration officer. The Federal Elections Fees Tariff prescribes the fees. All payments are managed using the ROPS/SITES application.

You must ensure that all stand-by poll workers:

CPSs on Stand-by (Contingency Plan)

The stand-by CPS who may substitute for another CPS or act as a "floating CPS"

The CPS substitute or the "floating CPS" generally performs less preparatory work than the regular CPS. EC expects that only a certain number of them may reach the maximum of 24 hours allocated to that position. They will need to complete a time sheet, which is available in ROPS/SITES.

The stand-by CPS, trained to act as CPS, DRO, poll clerk or registration officer (contingency plan)

The stand-by CPS will be remunerated and will have the number of hours of the position acting in, if asked. For more information, please see "Hours for Poll Workers – 42nd General Election New Staffing Model".

The stand-by DROs, poll clerks, registration officers (contingency plan)

19.7 Calling Poll Workers Checklist

19.8 Appointment and Training of Poll Workers Checklist

References:

Advance Polls

Ordinary Polls