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Returning Officer's Manual

Chapter 5 – Poll Workers and Office Staff

This Chapter explains the returning officer's responsibilities for recruiting and hiring poll workers and office staff. Job descriptions for each position are included.

5.1 Recruitment of Poll Workers

As returning officer (RO), you are responsible for appointing, training and supervising poll workers and certain election officers. A poll worker is defined as an election officer who works at a polling site.

The following is a list of all the positions included in the term "poll worker":

The term "election officer" is defined in the Canada Elections Act s.22(1) and includes all poll workers and other specific positions in the RO office. Here are the election officers not covered by the definition of poll workers that you are responsible for hiring, training and supervising:

Refer to Chapter 19, Selection and Appointment of Election Workers for important information about selecting and appointing poll workers and RO office staff.

All polling stations, for both ordinary and advance polls, must open at the time prescribed by the Canada Elections Act. The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) thus requests that ROs develop a contingency and recruitment plan for their respective electoral district (ED). The plans are designed to ensure that all poll workers' positions are filled so that polling stations open on time; to ensure that public funds are well spent; to maximize the use of poll workers; and to eliminate the risks associated with poll workers' resignations by establishing an infrastructure that allows for a more flexible response. Instructions for the RO's Recruitment Plan and Contingency Plan are found in Chapter 19, Selection and Appointment of Election Personnel and Contingency Plan for Opening Polling Stations on Time.

5.1.1 Qualifications

All election officers must be qualified electors (i.e., Canadian citizens on the day of their appointment and 18 years old on election day).

Election officers are not eligible to be official agents, auditors, candidate representatives or agents of a registered party.

The Canada Elections Act lists certain persons who are ineligible to serve as election officers.
s. 22

Note: In the event that there are insufficient poll worker applications, the CEO will authorize ROs to hire 16 and 17-year-olds. ROs don't need to seek approval from Elections Canada (EC), but must advise EC through the Elections Canada Support Network (ECSN) of their intent to hire 16 and 17-year-olds.

Election officers must be residents of the ED where they are appointed, with the exception of the following, who do not have to reside in the ED where they are appointed:

With the CEO's permission, you can appoint election officers who do not reside in the ED if there are not enough applicants to fill all the positions requiring residency in the electoral district. You must make a formal request to EC using RO Special Request (EC 10326) (available on the field personnel Intranet) and include proper justification.

Note: The names of potential revising agents are solicited directly from political parties.

5.1.2 Selection

You will select and appoint DROs, poll clerks and registration officers from lists provided by either the candidate of the registered political party whose candidate finished first (in the case of DROs and half of the registration officers) and second (in the case of poll clerks and the other half of the registration officers) in the previous general election in the ED, or by the registered association of that registered party or, if there is no registered association, by that registered party.

You will select revising agents from lists provided by the registered parties whose candidates came first and second in the ED at the last general election.

A list of resource persons for the registered political parties represented in your ED is available on the EC website. From the main webpage,

You will select and appoint IOs and CPSs directly.

Selection Lists for Deputy Returning Officers, Poll Clerks and Registration Officers

You must notify, in writing, registered associations and the candidates representing the registered parties whose candidates came, respectively, first and second in the ED at the last election that they are to provide a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of prospective DROs, poll clerks and registration officers by the end of Day 24 at the latest. You should also notify registered associations and parties when there are insufficient political poll workers. You should provide these persons with copies of Selection Guidelines for Deputy Returning Officers, Poll Clerks and Registration Officers (EC 10460) as well as a copy of the job descriptions and qualifications to assist them in choosing candidates for these positions. For DROs and poll clerks who will count the local special ballots, the political parties (not the candidates) will provide the list.
par. 32(c) ss. 33(1), 34(1), s. 35, 36, 39(3), 273(2)

Note that if the elected candidate during the previous election was independent or unaffiliated, you will request names from the candidates of registered parties whose candidates finished second and third. If the candidate who came in second was independent, request names from candidates of registered parties whose candidates came first and third.

Note: If, by Day 24, the candidates, registered associations and registered parties provide no recommendations or insufficient names, you may solicit names from any other source, including independent or unaffiliated candidates.

Following redistribution of the federal electoral boundaries, the political parties mentioned above are determined by the transposition of votes produced by EC. The results for the last general election (not by-elections, if any) are transposed from the boundaries existing during the last election into the newly drawn boundaries to determine which political party ranks first and second in each new ED. EC provides you with the results of the transposition of votes and the ranking of political parties, as well as the names of their designated representatives.
ss. 41(1)

Selection Lists for Revising Agents

Prior to the issue of the writ, you must notify, in writing, the representatives of registered political parties whose candidates came first and second in the ED at the last general election that they are required to provide a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of prospective revising agents within three days after receipt of the request. You will make this request on the day of the issue of the writ or immediately thereafter. You should also provide these persons with a copy of Selection Guidelines for Revising Agents (EC 10451), along with copies of the job descriptions and statements of qualifications, to assist them in identifying candidates for these positions.
ss. 33(1), 33(2)

Note: If, within three days after receipt of the request, the registered political parties provide no recommendations or insufficient names, you may solicit names from any other source, including independent or unaffiliated candidates.

Note that if the elected candidate during the previous election was independent or unaffiliated, you will then request names from the registered parties whose candidates finished second and third. If the candidate who came in second was independent, you will then request names from registered parties whose candidates came first and third.

Posting and Distribution of Revising Agent, Deputy Returning Officer and Poll Clerk Lists

After the appointments are completed, you must prepare a list of the names of revising agents in the ED on List of Officers (EC 10290), available in the Returning Office Payment System and Sites (ROPS/SITES) application. After the issue of the writ, one copy of the list of revising agents must be given to each confirmed candidate and one copy posted in the RO office for public consultation.
ss. 33(5)

No later than three days before the ordinary poll, you must give one copy of the list of names and addresses of DROs and poll clerks by polling station (List of Officers [EC 10290]) to each confirmed candidate and post one copy in the RO office for public inspection at reasonable times. If the list is incomplete at that time, distribute it as is and replace it with a more complete version as soon as possible.
s. 112

Deputy Returning Officers and Poll Clerks for Mobile Polls

Take special care in selecting DROs and poll clerks for mobile polls, as they will be dealing with people who may require extra help in marking their ballots or may need more detailed explanation of the voting process. Since the DROs and poll clerks will travel to several locations, they should be people who can work independently and patiently.

5.1.3 Appointment and Oath

You must use Appointment and Oath (for election or referendum officers) (EC 10130) for the appointment of all poll workers. For the special messenger, you must use Appointment and Oath of Special Messenger or Temporary Custodian (EC 10180). Appointed persons must be given a copy as proof of their authority to act; you retain the original copy. The oath can be sworn before you or any other officer to whom you have delegated the power to receive oaths through Delegation of Authority (EC 10090) or before any other person authorized to administer oaths.

By virtue of the oath, a poll worker swears to perform the duties of the office in an impartial manner.
s. 23(1)

Note: It is recommended that you advise poll workers of their pay rates as stated in Federal Elections Fees Tariff before they sign Appointment and Oath. In some cases, the fee is not hourly but a set fee for services rendered throughout the election period. It is important that anyone receiving a set fee for the entire event be informed that there will be no further compensation available, other than the amount listed in Federal Elections Fees Tariff.

5.1.4 Replacement

At any time, you may replace any poll workers for any valid reason, such as incompetence, incapacity or refusal to perform the required duties. You must document the reason for the replacement and follow all applicable procedures set out below in Section 5.2.3.

When you have notified a poll worker of dismissal, you may require the poll worker to return all election material in their possession or to return it to another person mentioned in the notice. In the case of a DRO, such notice must be given in writing.
ss. 33(4), 484(1),43(c), 484(3)(f)

5.1.5 Other Personnel

The appointment of IOs at central polling places may be done with the approval of the CEO.

You are responsible for designating a poll worker at a central polling place to conduct three accessibility verification checks throughout polling day and to ensure that all accessibility procedures are followed as per instructions.

If you have not identified an interpreter in advance, the DRO can appoint one and swear in the interpreter using Appointment and Oath (for election or referendum officers) (EC 10130).

5.1.6 Confidentiality Guidelines

Confidential elector information must be protected at all times. The privacy of all electors must be respected and maintained. When revising agents or any member of the staff are checking information on the automated or paper lists of electors, they must not discuss with anyone any information about the other electors who may be listed at the same address.

During training of office staff, you must explain and emphasize that elector information is confidential. Staff will come in contact with personal information regarding friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and others, which must remain private. Ensure that the automation coordinator (AC) does not leave USB sticks containing data in disk drives or on tables. All printed lists and journal reports containing elector information must be kept out of public view and safely stored at the end of each day.

Confidentiality guidelines are also provided to all election officers during classroom training sessions to emphasize the need to protect personal information. You are provided with Notice to Employees (EC 10125), which must be distributed to all members of the office staff and be posted in conspicuous places throughout the office.

5.2 Recruitment of Office Staff

Beyond the specific election officers discussed in Section 5.1, the CEO has also authorized ROs to hire office staff, including staff to provide clerical support and handle public enquiries. You are also required to plan, prepare, identify and interview potential employees during pre-writ activities to help alleviate the workload once the writ is issued.

Note: You can only hire office staff in accordance with the authorization of the CEO.

5.2.1 Appointment of Office Staff

You must use Appointment and Oath (for office staff) (EC 10135) for the appointment of all office staff. The person appointed must be given a copy as proof of authority to act; you retain the original. The oath can be sworn before any other person authorized to administer oaths.
s.61(2)(b)

It is important to emphasize the non-partisan role of the RO office: office staff may not participate in any form of partisan conduct or activity from the first day of work until their last day of work, even in their off-duty hours.

5.2.2 Various Staffing Appointments

All staffing must be authorized by the CEO. The Canada Elections Act does not set out any specific qualifications, as it does for election officers. Also, unlike certain election officers, there is no obligation to consult parties before making staff appointments. In all cases, however, the CEO's instructions, including this manual and Code of Professional Conduct for Election Administrators, must be respected. Several positions will need to be shared between two or more persons due to the total number of hours to be worked during the electoral period (receptionist, special ballot coordinator [SBC], etc.).

Some positions require a single appointment. You should manage these staff wisely to ensure that they remain focused on their tasks for the simple reason that no additional hours can be paid, as pay rates are set in Federal Elections Fees Tariff.

Furthermore, you should insist that any staff paid by a set fee (ARO and AC) do not work in any other roles nor be paid under any other position in ROPS. Their duties encompass enough tasks and responsibilities without taking on more roles.

The RO office may have a large number of personnel, making your job managerial in nature. You should draw an organizational chart, determine the duties for each position and decide who will report to whom.

Note: Each ED is allocated a sufficient budget to cover the salaries of an AC and an assistant automation coordinator (ACC) at set fees, and revision supervisor(s) on an hourly basis, as well as revision centre clerks, if required.

Forecasted volumes of revisions and targeted revisions may also have a significant impact on the number of revising agents you should hire.

Table 5a, Staffing Requirements Based on Population provides a list of the other positions required in an ED, based on its population.

Table 5a: Staffing Requirements Based on Population

Population Allotment
60,000 or less 2 special ballot coordinators (share allocated budget)
1 financial officer
minimum of 1 training officer
1 electoral material coordinator
1 receptionist
1 office clerk
1 office messenger
1 recruitment officer
1 security officer (if there is no alarm system) community relations officer(s), if applicable
60,001 to 90,000 2 or more special ballot coordinators (share allocated budget)
1 office coordinator
1 financial officer
minimum of 1 training officer
1 electoral material coordinator
1 receptionist
1 office clerk
1 office messenger
1 recruitment officer
1 security officer (if there is no alarm system)
community relations officer(s), if applicable
90,001 to 110,000 2 or more special ballot coordinators (share allocated budget)
1 office coordinator
1 financial officer minimum of 1 training officer
1 electoral material coordinator 1 receptionist
1 office clerk
1 office messenger
1 recruitment officer
1 security officer (if there is no alarm system)
community relations officer(s), if applicable
110,001 to 150,000 2 or more special ballot coordinators (share allocated budget)
1 office coordinator
1 recruitment officer
minimum of 1 financial officer
1 training officer
1 electoral material coordinator
1 receptionist
1 office clerk
1 office messenger
1 security officer (if there is no alarm system)
community relations officer(s), if applicable
Over 150,000 2 or more special ballot coordinators (share allocated budget)
1 office coordinator
1 recruitment officer
1 financial officer
minimum of 1 training officer
1 electoral material coordinator
1 receptionist
1 office clerks
1 office messenger
1 security officer (if there is no alarm system)
community relations officer(s), if applicable

To assist you in selecting and appointing election officers and office staff, refer to Chapter 19, Selection and Appointment of Election Personnel.

Section 5.3. contains the job description (reporting relationship, key activities, tasks) and the necessary qualifications (experience, knowledge, abilities, personal suitability) for each position held by a member of the staff in the RO office and by an election officer.

5.2.3 Dealing with Concerns about a Person's Abilities or Performance

The process described in this section must be followed when a person trained and/or hired for a position in the office or as a poll worker

You may refuse to appoint a person recommended by a political party. You must

The party may recommend another person within 24 hours. If they do not, then you can appoint a person from another source.

The training officer or ARO may carry out these tasks on your behalf, but only if designated in advance. They must consult with you before proceeding and may dismiss an appointed poll worker only if they have received Delegation of Authority (EC 10090).

You must specify which powers you delegate on the form if you do not check the box for all powers under subsection 27(1) of the Canada Elections Act (i.e., the power to dismiss poll workers).

1. Informal discussion

The individual must be informed of any concern about their abilities or performance through informal discussion.

You or the person you designate must

  1. arrange to meet with the individual and give them a clear explanation of the reason for the meeting
  2. meet with the individual in private, accompanied either by you, the ARO or a training officer
  3. give the individual a clear explanation of the problems or situations observed and associated consequences: the individual can be
    • offered additional training, but must be advised that only one training session will be paid for (if you deem it appropriate)
    • given a grace period during which to improve their performance (at your discretion and pursuant to the agreement between you and the individual)

Note: If the individual disagrees with an assessment done by a person other than you, then you must be involved in the discussion.

  1. Fill out sections 1 and 2 of EC 10995, sign it and keep it for your records.
2. Dismissal

After meeting with the individual and offering additional training or giving a grace period, if you are still convinced that they do not have the required competencies or abilities, you can replace them.

You or the person you designate must

  1. rate the competencies listed according to the scale in section 3 of EC 10995
  2. describe the situation and the grounds for dismissal or refusal to appoint in section 4
  3. meet with the individual and explain the reasons why they cannot occupy or keep their position
  4. offer them
    • a position better suited to their skills and abilities, if possible
    • the possibility of a later meeting to discuss their disagreement, at your convenience
  5. ask them to add any comments they may have to the form and to sign it
  6. give them a copy of the form, send a copy to EC and keep the original for your records

You may require a poll worker who has been notified of dismissal to return all election material in their possession to you or to another authorized person. CEA,
ss. 33(4), 484(1), par. 43(c), 484(3)(f)

5.3 Additional Assistant Returning Officer

5.3.1 Job Description

The additional assistant returning officer (AARO) is responsible for assisting the returning officer (RO) in the performance of all duties in connection with an electoral event in the area for which they are appointed. The AARO is appointed in an electoral district (ED) that covers a wide area or where communication is unusually difficult.

Reporting Relationship

The AARO is appointed by and reports directly to the RO. The AARO is responsible for managing an additional office established to provide services to a given area of the ED.

Key Activities

5.3.2 Tasks

Plans and organizes the delivery of access to voting

Directs and monitors the work of office staff and election officials

Administers the Canada Elections Act

5.3.3 Qualifications

The AARO must be a qualified elector and a resident of the ED for which they are appointed.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.4 Assistant Automation Coordinator

5.4.1 Job Description

The assistant automation coordinator (AAC) assists the automation coordinator (AC) in managing the systems in the returning officer (RO) office and in providing technical support for all the software applications and associated hardware.

Reporting Relationship

The AAC reports to the AC.

Key Activities
Tasks

Office Automation

Training

REVISE Requirements

5.4.2 Qualifications

The AAC does not need to be a qualified elector resident in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.5 Assistant Returning Officer

5.5.1 Job Description

The assistant returning officer (ARO) is appointed by the returning officer (RO) to assist in the performance of all duties in connection with an electoral event. The RO may delegate responsibility to the ARO for specific duties. On occasion, the ARO may be required to replace the RO.

Reporting Relationship

The ARO reports directly to the RO.

Key Activities
Tasks

Plans and organizes the delivery of access to voting.

Directs the work of elections officials and office staff

Manages and controls financial material and human resources

Establishes floor plan and supervises set-up of office

Administers the Canada Elections Act

Communicates information to the public, candidates, political parties and EC

Contributes to the management and improvement of the electoral process

Oversees security and safety in the office

5.5.2 Qualifications

The ARO must be a qualified elector resident in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.6 Automation Coordinator

5.6.1 Job Description

The automation coordinator (AC) is appointed by the returning officer (RO) and is responsible for managing the preparation and production of the lists of electors, and for the training of revision centre staff with the revision supervisor. The AC is also responsible for overseeing the operation of and providing technical support for all automated systems in the RO office.

Reporting Relationship

The AC reports directly to the RO. The AC works in close association with the revision supervisor and the special ballot coordinator (SBC).

Key Activities
Tasks

Manages the technology used in the revision centre, including statutory reports and activities

Provides technical troubleshooting and computer support within the office

Oversees information technology security procedures

5.6.2 Qualifications

The AC does not have to be a qualified elector of the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.7 Central Poll Supervisor

The central poll supervisor (CPS) prepares and manages a central polling place (i.e., a polling place that contains four or more polling stations).
ss. 124(2)

When there is more than one CPS in a central polling place, one will be required to perform additional duties, associated with the pre-site check, and will be given additional hours, as required.

5.7.1 Job Description

The CPS is responsible for ensuring that all electors are able to cast their ballot in an orderly fashion and that election officials carry out their work according to established procedures. The CPS is the liaison between the RO and the polling day election officials, is responsible for performing quality control checks to ensure the integrity of the vote and is responsible for reporting to the RO any incidents that occur at the polling place. As election officials, CPSs may not participate in partisan political activities while carrying out their duties. Refer to Central Poll Supervisor Guidebook – Ordinary Poll (EC 50355) or Central Poll Supervisor Guidebook – Advance Poll (EC 50354).

Reporting Relationship

The CPS reports directly to the RO. The CPSs, deputy returning officers (DROs), poll clerks, information officers (IOs) and registration officers work as a team to ensure the proper functioning of the poll.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.7.2 Qualifications

The CPS must be a qualified elector and must reside in the ED. CPSs should have previous experience in performing related duties and, if possible, supervisory ability as well as sound judgment and tact, as they will have to exercise impartiality and effective control of proceedings at the polling place while performing their duties.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.7.3 Floating Central Poll Supervisor

The floating CPS has the same job description and must possess the same qualifications as the CPS; the only differences are that the floating CPS is not assigned to a designated polling place and is able to travel from one polling place to another during advance and ordinary polling days to ensure compliance in the application of the voting process. If this position is required, ROs should ensure that it is part of their staffing plan.

5.8 Community Relations Officer

Community relations officers (CROs) are appointed in electoral districts where electors in certain target groups known to face barriers to voting represent a significant portion of the population. The CRO facilitates communication between the local Elections Canada (EC) office and the target group, thereby making voting as accessible as possible to that population.

The available CRO positions are

Experience
Knowledge of

Note: The CRO does not need to be a qualified elector living in the electoral district.

Abilities
Personal Suitability
Assets

5.9 Community Relations Officer (Aboriginal)

The community relations officer (CRO)-Aboriginal is appointed in electoral districts with a significant Aboriginal population. The CRO-Aboriginal maintains contact between the local Elections Canada (EC) office and Aboriginal electors through interaction with organizations representing or serving them, such as Friendship Centres and Band offices in the electoral district.

5.9.1 Job Description

The CRO-Aboriginal is responsible for maintaining contact between the returning officer (RO) and the Aboriginal communities in the electoral district (ED).

Reporting Relationship

The CRO-Aboriginal is appointed by and reports directly to the RO.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.9.2 Qualifications

The CRO-Aboriginal does not have to be a qualified elector or live in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.10 Community Relations Officer (Accessibility)

The community relations officer (CRO)-Accessibility is appointed in all electoral districts. The CRO-Accessibility maintains contact between the local Elections Canada (EC) office and electors with disabilities through interacting with organizations representing or serving them, such as local associations, community groups and foundations in the electoral district (ED).

5.10.1 Reporting Relationship

The CRO-Accessibility is appointed by and reports directly to the returning officer (RO) and has a functional relationship with the office coordinator.

Tasks
CRO-Accessibility Reporting Structure

CRO-Accessibility Reporting Structure

Text description of "CRO-Accessibility Reporting Structure"

5.11 Community Relations Officer (Ethnocultural)

The community relations officer (CRO)-Ethnocultural is appointed to electoral districts (EDs) with an ethnoculturally diverse population and is assigned to a specific ethnocultural group within that population. The CRO-Ethnocultural maintains contact between the local Elections Canada (EC) office and their designated ethnocultural community through interacting with organizations representing or serving them, such as immigration services, citizenship associations and community centres in the electoral district.

5.11.1 Reporting Relationship

The CRO-Ethnocultural is appointed by and reports directly to the returning officer (RO).

Key Activities
Tasks

5.11.2 Qualifications

The CRO-Ethnocultural does not need to be a qualified elector or live in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.12 Community Relations Officer (Homeless)

The community relations officer (CRO)-Homeless is appointed in electoral districts (EDs) with a significant number of facilities offering shelter or services for people with no fixed address. The CRO-Homeless maintains contact between the local Elections Canada (EC) office and homeless electors through interacting with organizations representing or serving them, such as shelters, hostels and soup kitchens in the electoral district.

5.12.1 Job Description

The CRO-Homeless is responsible for maintaining contact between the returning officer (RO) and homeless electors through personal interaction and by communicating with organizations offering services to the homeless, such as shelters, hostels, soup kitchens, drop-in centres and other organizations in the ED.

Reporting Relationship

The CRO-Homeless is appointed by and reports directly to the RO.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.12.2 Qualifications

The CRO-Homeless does not need to be a qualified elector living in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.13 Community Relations Officer (Seniors)

The community relations officer (CRO)-Seniors is appointed in electoral districts (EDs) with one or more seniors' long-term care facilities. The CRO-Seniors maintains contact between the local Elections Canada (EC) office, the revision supervisor (RS) and the administrations of long-term care facilities in the ED.

5.13.1 Reporting Relationship

The CRO-Seniors is appointed by and reports directly to the returning officer (RO), and has a functional reporting relationship with the RS.

Tasks

5.14 Community Relations Officer (Youth)

The community relations officer (CRO)-Youth is appointed in electoral districts (ED) with a significant population of young people or one or more post-secondary institution(s). The CRO-Youth maintains contact between the local Elections Canada (EC) office and young electors through interacting with organizations representing or serving them, such as youth centres, post-secondary institutions, employment centres and students' associations in the ED.

5.14.1 Job Description

The CRO-Youth is responsible for maintaining contact between the returning officer (RO) and youth communities in the ED.

Reporting Relationship

The CRO-Youth is appointed by and reports directly to the RO.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.14.2 Qualifications

The CRO-Youth does not have to be a qualified elector or live in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.15 Deputy Returning Officer

5.15.1 Appointment

The returning officer (RO) appoints one deputy returning officer (DRO) in each polling station from lists supplied by the candidate, the registered association of the registered party or, if there is no registered association, the registered party itself for the current election whose candidate finished first in the electoral district (ED) in the last election, or following redistribution, according to the transposition of votes.
ss. 34(1), 32(c)

The RO may, on reasonable grounds, refuse to appoint a DRO or a poll clerk recommended by a candidate, a registered association or a registered party and must advise the recommender of the refusal immediately. The candidate, the registered association of the registered party or, if there is no registered association, the registered party itself may, within 24 hours after being advised of the refusal, recommend another person. If they do not do so, the RO can proceed to appoint another person whose name is solicited from another source.
s. 37

Appointments are made on Appointment and Oath (for election or referendum officers) (EC 10130), generally before the RO, the assistant returning officer or the additional assistant returning officer. The training officer may also administer the appointment and oath if delegated to do so by the RO. DROs must retain a copy of the form as proof of their authority to act and bring it with them when they are working; the RO keeps the original.

For distant polling stations where the ballot boxes may have to be delivered by mail or by messenger, the RO sends the completed Appointment and Oath forms to the prospective DROs and poll clerks, who must swear the oath before a commissioner for taking affidavits (a judge or notary authorized to receive oaths in the province or territory) and return the original to the RO. The person administering an oath or affidavit under the Canada Elections Act must provide these services free of charge.
ss. 549(2)

At the same time, the RO sends distant DROs and poll clerks their guidebooks so they can read them before starting work.
ss. 23(1)

The RO can appoint DROs to be on standby (two for every 25 polling divisions). These additional DROs will replace DROs who are unable to work or who do not show up on election day. They are paid to attend a training session, and are paid to be on standby.

The Canada Elections Act authorizes the poll clerk to replace a DRO if a DRO does not show up or is sick on election day. If the RO does not have a standby DRO to send as a replacement, the RO will direct the poll clerk to step into the DRO position and appoint a new poll clerk.
s. 38, ss. 34(2), 484(1), par.43(c), 484(3)(f)

5.15.2 Job Description

The DRO is responsible for ensuring that all electors are able to cast their ballot in an orderly fashion. DROs in mobile polling stations will be required to open and close several polling stations in consecutive order during election day. DROs in advance polls will be required to open their polling stations on four separate days and to count the ballots on election day.

Reporting Relationship

The DRO reports directly to the RO and uses the central poll supervisor (CPS) as a liaison between the polling station and the RO, where the RO has appointed a CPS.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.15.3 Qualifications

DROs must be qualified electors and residents of the ED.

DROs may not participate in partisan political activities on election day.

Advance poll DROs may not participate in partisan political activities from the first day of the advance poll until they have completed the count on election night.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.16 Deputy Returning Officer (Correctional Institutions)

The deputy returning officer (DRO) (correctional institutions) is appointed by the returning officer (RO) in consultation with the liaison officer of the correctional institution. To eliminate the possibility of intimidation, it is recommended that the DRO (correctional institutions) as well as the poll clerks be appointed, as much as possible, from groups that are well received by the incarcerated, such as the chaplain, social workers, and members of the John Howard Society, the Elizabeth Fry Society or the Inmates Advisory committee.
ss. 253(1)

5.16.1 Job Description

The DRO (correctional institutions) is responsible for taking the votes of electors in correctional institutions.

Reporting Relationship

The DRO (correctional institutions) receives functional guidance reports directly from the RO. However, in the correctional institution on Day 10, the DRO receives guidance from and is responsible to the liaison officer.

Key Activities
Tasks

Oversees the voting in the correctional institution

Ensures that electors, the poll clerk and political parties' representatives follow the rules and procedures

5.16.2 Qualifications

The DRO (correctional institutions) must be a qualified elector but does not need to reside in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.17 Deputy Returning Officer (Counting Local Special Ballots)

Depending on the number of local special ballots, the returning officer (RO) can appoint one or more deputy returning officers (DROs) from lists supplied by the registered party whose candidate finished first in the electoral district (ED) at the last election, or, following redistribution, according to the transposition of votes.
ss. 273(1), ss. 273(2)

5.17.1 Job Description

The DRO (counting local special ballots) is responsible for the verification of outer envelopes and the counting of special ballots cast within the ED.

Reporting Relationship

The DRO (counting local special ballots) receives functional guidance from the RO.

Key Activities
Tasks

Ensures that the poll clerk and candidates' representatives follow the rules and procedures

Verifies outer envelopes and counts special ballots

5.17.2 Qualifications

The DRO (counting local special ballots) must be a qualified elector and must reside in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities

Personal Suitability

5.18 Electoral Material Coordinator

To manage the material effectively, an electoral material coordinator will be hired. The amount of hours allowed for this position is determined by the budget and depends on the size of the electoral district (ED).

5.18.1 Job Description

The electoral material coordinator is responsible for managing and controlling the inventory of supplies.

Reporting Relationship

The electoral material coordinator reports directly to the returning officer (RO) and the assistant returning officer (ARO).

Key Activities
Tasks

5.18.2 Qualifications

The electoral material coordinator does not have to be a qualified elector or a resident of the ED, but must possesses the following qualifications:

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.19 Financial Officer

A financial officer (FO) is required to assist in the preparation of accounts and payroll documents.

5.19.1 Job Description

The FO is responsible for implementing the financial processes in the returning officer (RO) office and for presenting to the RO complete and accurate financial information using the Returning Office Payment System and Sites (ROPS/SITES) application.

Reporting Relationship

The FO reports directly to the RO and works in close association with the RO, ARO, automation coordinator, recruitment officer, office coordinator and training officer.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.19.2 Qualifications

The FO does not have to be a qualified elector or a resident of the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of (acquired from training)
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.20 Hospital Special Ballot Coordinator

The hospital special ballot coordinator (hospital SBC) is appointed by the returning officer (RO) in consultation with the hospital administrator. The hospital SBC must be appointed as an election officer, as he or she might be called upon to assist voters with voting.

5.20.1 Job Description

The hospital SBC is responsible for managing special ballot registration and voting processes in acute care hospitals. This process allows Canadian electors (local and national) who are hospitalized during an electoral event to cast ballots from their hospital beds.

Reporting Relationship

The hospital SBC reports to the SBC in the RO office or to the RO.

Key Activities
Tasks

Assists hospitalized electors to register and to vote by special ballot

5.20.2 Qualifications

The hospital SBC must be a qualified elector and must be appointed as an election officer (requirement to live in the electoral district [ED] does not apply; refer to Chapter 12, Special Voting Rules for more information).

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.21 Information Officer

The appointment of information officers (IOs) is not mandatory at all polling places. Many polling places function quite well without them, especially if there are only one or two polling stations. However, in other instances there is a definite requirement for someone to direct electors, collect voter information cards (VICs), manage Statement of the Electors Who Voted on Polling Day (EC 50111), control traffic flow in the parking lot or within the central polling place, or offer additional assistance to electors who need it, for example. The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) authorizes the number of IOs depending on the number of polling stations in any polling place.
ss. 124(1)

5.21.1 Job Description

The IO is responsible for providing information services within a central polling place. The IO works with the deputy returning officer (DRO), poll clerk and registration officer and in close association with the central poll supervisor (CPS) to ensure that electors are able to cast their ballots in an effective, efficient and safe manner. IOs, as election officials, may not participate in partisan political activities on election day.

Reporting Relationship

The IO reports directly to the CPS or DRO.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.21.2 Qualifications

IOs must be qualified electors and, where possible, residents of the electoral district (ED).
par. 22(1)(h), ss. 22(5)

Experience

Welcoming and directing large groups to ensure that circulation occurs in an orderly fashion.

Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.22 Messenger (Office)

The office messenger provides courier services at the returning officer (RO) office.

5.22.1 Job Description

The office messenger provides messenger services to the RO office.

Reporting Relationship

The office messenger reports directly to the office coordinator, to the RO or the assistant returning officer (ARO).

Key Activities
Tasks

5.22.2 Qualifications

The office messenger does not have to be a qualified elector or a resident in the electoral district (ED).

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.23 Office Clerk

The office clerk is responsible for providing office and administrative support.

5.23.1 Job Description

The office clerk provides office and administrative support to the returning officer (RO), assistant returning officer (ARO) and all office staff.

Reporting Relationship

The office clerk reports directly to the office coordinator, RO and ARO.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.23.2 Qualifications

The office clerk does not have to be a qualified elector or a resident in the electoral district (ED).

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.24 Office Coordinator

An electoral district (ED) with more than 60,000 inhabitants is eligible for one office coordinator who is responsible for the management and control of the daily operations on behalf of the returning officer (RO). In RO offices in EDs with fewer than 60,000 inhabitants, many of these responsibilities are part of the duties of the office clerk.

5.24.1 Job Description

The office coordinator is responsible for managing and controlling of the day-to-day operations of the RO office.

Reporting Relationship

The office coordinator is appointed in districts with high population density. The office coordinator reports directly to the RO.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.24.2 Qualifications

The office coordinator does not have to be a qualified elector or a resident in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.25 Poll Clerk (Advance Poll)

The returning officer (RO) must appoint one poll clerk in each polling station from lists supplied by the candidate, the registered association of the registered party or, if there is no registered association, the registered party itself at the current election whose candidate finished second in the ED in the last election or, following redistribution, according to the transposition of votes.
s. 35, par. 32(c)

5.25.1 Job Description

The poll clerk (advance poll) is responsible for making all required entries on the list of electors on Record of Votes Cast at the Advance Polling Station (EC 50080) and in Advance Poll Book (EC 50070) on four separate days. A poll clerk may also be required to replace and perform the duties of a deputy returning officer (DRO) if he or she is unable or unavailable to carry out his or her duties.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.25.2 Qualifications

The poll clerk (advance poll) must be a qualified elector and must also reside in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.26 Poll Clerk (Correctional Institutions)

The poll clerk (correctional institutions) is appointed by the returning officer (RO), in collaboration with the liaison officer of the correctional institution. To eliminate the possibility of intimidation, it is recommended that the poll clerk be appointed, as much as possible, from groups that are well received by the incarcerated, such as the chaplain, social workers, and members of the John Howard Society, the Elizabeth Fry Society or the Inmates Advisory committee.
ss. 253(1)

5.26.1 Job Description

The poll clerk (correctional institutions) is responsible for assisting the deputy returning officer (DRO) in ensuring that all electors of correctional institutions are able to cast their ballot in an orderly fashion. A poll clerk may also be required to replace and perform the duties of a DRO in the case of incapacity or unavailability.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.26.2 Qualifications

The poll clerk (correctional institutions) must be a qualified elector but does not have to reside in the electoral district (ED).

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.27 Poll Clerk (Counting Local Special Ballots)

Depending on the number of local special ballots, the returning officer (RO) can appoint one or more poll clerks from lists supplied by the registered party whose candidate finished second in the electoral district (ED) in the last election, or following redistribution, according to the transposition of votes.
ss. 273(1), ss. 273(2)

5.27.1 Job Description

The poll clerk (counting local special ballots) is responsible for assisting the deputy returning officer (DRO) in the verification of the outer envelopes and the counting of special ballots cast within the ED. A poll clerk may also be required to replace and perform the duties of a DRO if he or she is unable or unavailable to carry out his or her duties.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.27.2 Qualifications

The poll clerk (counting local special ballots) must be a qualified elector and must reside in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.28 Poll Clerk (Mobile and Ordinary Polls)

The returning officer (RO) can appoint one poll clerk in each polling station from lists supplied by the candidate, the registered association of the registered party or, if there is no registered association, the registered party itself at the current election representing the registered party whose candidate finished second in the electoral district (ED) in the last election or, following redistribution, according to the transposition of votes.
s. 35, par. 32(c)

5.28.1 Job Description

The poll clerk (mobile and ordinary polls) is responsible for making all required entries on the list of electors and in the Poll Book (EC 50060), and for pre-filling certificates if no registration officer has been appointed to the polling place. A poll clerk of a mobile poll is required to travel to various institutions on ordinary polling day. A poll clerk may be required to replace and perform the duties of a deputy returning officer (DRO) if he or she is unable or unavailable to carry out his or her duties.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.28.2 Qualifications

The poll clerk (mobile and ordinary polls) must be a qualified elector and must reside in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.29 Receptionist

The receptionist is responsible for receiving and routing telephone calls, as well as greeting electors and other visitors to the returning office. If necessary, more than one person can share the hours assigned to this position. In smaller offices, the receptionist will also provide office and administrative support.

5.29.1 Job Description

The receptionist provides office and administrative support to the returning officer (RO), the assistant returning officer (ARO), the additional assistant returning officer (AARO) and the office staff.

Reporting Relationship

The receptionist reports directly to the office coordinator or to the RO and ARO.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.29.2 Qualifications

The receptionist is not required to be a qualified elector or to reside in the electoral district (ED).

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.30 Recruitment Officer

The recruitment officer should be available upon the issue of the writ to allow sufficient time to set up processes to deal with recruitment and training logistics before the lists of recommended poll officials are provided by candidates on Day 24.

5.30.1 Job Description

The recruitment officer is the first point of contact in the management of recruiting advance poll and polling day election officers and for the logistics related to training sessions for these election officers.

Reporting Relationship

The recruitment officer reports directly to the returning officer (RO) and works closely with the training officer.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.30.2 Qualifications

The recruitment officer is not required to be a qualified elector or to reside in the electoral district (ED).

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.31 Registration Officer

5.31.1 Job Description

The registration officer pre-fills Registration Certificate (EC 50050) for electors who are not on the list of electors but who reside in a polling division served by that polling place, Correction Certificate (EC 50051) for electors who have minor corrections to their name or require changes to their voting status, or Oath of Residence Certificate (EC 50055) for electors who do not have proof of residence but who have another elector to attest to their residence. The registration officer may request to see an elector identification document to assist in pre-filling forms.

Reporting Relationship

The registration officer reports directly to the central poll supervisor (CPS), if one is appointed, or to the returning officer (RO).

Key Activities
Tasks

5.31.2 Qualifications

The registration officer must be a qualified elector residing in the electoral district (ED).

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.32 Returning Officer

5.32.1 Job Description

Federal returning officers (ROs) are responsible for the management and control of federal electoral events within the electoral district (ED) for which they are appointed.

Reporting Relationship

The federal RO is appointed by and receives instructions from the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).

Key Activities
Tasks

Plans and organizes the delivery of access to voting

Manages and controls financial, material and human resources

Administers the Canada Elections Act

Manages media relations:

Communicates information to the public, candidates, political parties and EC

Contributes to the improvement of the electoral process

5.32.2 Qualifications

Statutory Requirement

An RO must be qualified as an elector (i.e., be a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years old) and must reside in the ED in which he or she is to perform duties under the Canada Elections Act.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.33 Revising Agent

5.33.1 Job Description

The revising agent is responsible for updating preliminary lists of electors by accepting revision applications from electors through the mail, by fax, by telephone or in person.

Reporting Relationship

The revising agent, reporting directly to the revision supervisor, is appointed by the returning officer (RO). Revising agents are recruited from a list of potential election/referendum officials provided by the registered political parties whose candidates came first and second in the electoral district (ED) in the previous election. EC provides the results of the transposition of votes and the ranking of political parties, as well as the names of their designated representatives. ss. 41(1) at the following EC website address http://www.elections.ca/res/cir/trans2013/default.asp?lang=e.

Key Activities
Tasks

Revising Agent – Returning Office Tasks

Receives, completes and processes revision applications:

Revising Agent – Targeted Revision tasks

Conducts targeted revision, in pairs, where required

5.33.2 Qualifications

The revising agent must be a qualified elector and reside in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.34 Revision Centre Clerk

Revision centre clerks (RCCs) are required during peak periods of data entry so that targeted revision forms and forms from the polls can be data entered in REVISE promptly.

5.34.1 Job Description

The RCC is responsible for assisting the automation coordinator (AC) in producing the lists of electors.

Reporting Relationship

The RCC reports to the AC.

Key Activities
Tasks

5.34.2 Qualifications

The RCC does not have to be a qualified elector or reside in the electoral district (ED).

5.34.3 Experience

Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.35 Revision Supervisor

5.35.1 Job Description

The revision supervisor (RS) is appointed by the returning officer (RO) and is responsible for the management, control and conduct of the revision of the preliminary lists of electors. The RS assists the RO in recruiting revising agents and leads their training. The RS manages the targeted revision activities and monitors the progress. The RS verifies revision forms for completeness and accuracy, and batches the revision forms. In addition, the RS, along with the automation coordinator (AC), assists the RO and the assistant returning officer (ARO) in managing the local office.

Reporting Relationship

The RS reports directly to the RO. The RS must work closely with the AC and the special ballot coordinator (SBC).

Key Activities
Tasks

Manages, on behalf of the RO, the selection, staffing and training of revising agents

Directs, monitors and supervises the work of revising agents

Manages targeted revision

Ensures a steady flow of input to the RO and/or data entry

5.35.2 Qualifications

Revision supervisors do not have to be qualified electors, nor do they have to reside in the electoral district (ED).

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.36 Special Ballot Coordinator

The returning officer (RO) is responsible for selecting the special ballot coordinator (SBC). The length of employment is 37 days (Day 36 to Day 0 inclusive), and in the office of the additional assistant returning officer (AARO), the length of employment is 31 days (Day 36 to Day 6 until 9:00 p.m. inclusive). The special ballot coordinator (SBC) must be present during the office hours prescribed by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). It is advisable to have at least two persons share the duties of this position.

5.36.1 Job Description

The SBC is responsible for managing the special ballot registration and voting processes in the RO and AARO office and for coordinating special ballot voting in acute care hospitals, as well as training the hospital SBC (HSBC). The SBC is also responsible for any other special ballot voting initiative, as required. Any elector who cannot or does not wish to vote at a polling station during an election may vote using a special ballot, through the mail or in person at the RO office for the electoral district. This method of voting is governed by the Special Voting Rules (SVR) (Part 11 of the Canada Elections Act).

Reporting Relationship

The SBC reports directly to the RO or AARO, as the case may be.

Key Activities
Tasks

Assists electors to register and to cast ballots using the SVR

Ensures the legitimacy of applications made and prevents abuse or infractions of the SVR

Ensures that approved applications are transmitted to the revision centre for data entry

Manages the voting in acute care hospitals in the ED

Ensures that the special ballots and electors' documents are ready for the counting of the votes on election day

Performs other duties as requested by the RO, including but not limited to the following

5.36.2 Qualifications

The SBC must be a qualified elector and must be appointed as an election officer (requirement to live in the ED does not apply; refer to Chapter 12, Special Voting Rules for more information).

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability

5.37 Training Officer

Training serves an important function in the electoral process. The selection of training officers is key to ensuring that returning officers (ROs) manage a successful event and that ultimately, electors from coast to coast receive the same level of quality service.

The RO is responsible for appointing a training officer, regardless of the size of the electoral district (ED). In most EDs, training takes place at the RO office. In some EDs, the training officer will travel across the ED to train poll officials.

Note: These hours include the time required for self-training.

5.37.1 Job Description

The training officer is responsible for preparing and delivering the training for all poll personnel:

The training officer will rely on the training materials and follow the training guidelines provided by Elections Canada (EC) in the delivery of training sessions.

Reporting Relationship

The training officer reports directly to the RO and works in close association with the recruitment officer.

Key Activities
Tasks

Prepares to deliver a quality, well-delivered and interesting training session that will inspire and motivate electoral staff

Delivers the training sessions for election officers

Swears in election officers where delegated by RO to do so

5.37.2 Qualifications

The training officer does not have to be a qualified elector or a resident in the ED.

Experience
Knowledge of
Abilities
Personal Suitability