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Thirty-seventh General Election 2000: Official Voting Results: Synopsis


POLLING STATIONS AND ELECTION WORKERS

Polling stations

The Canada Elections Act provides that voting shall take place in one or more polling stations established in each polling division (see Table D). In all, 57 705 polling stations were established on election day (56 822 stationary polling stations, 883 mobile polling stations).


TABLE D
Distribution of polling divisions and polling stations,
by province and territory – 37th general election 2000

Province or territory
Number of polling divisions
Number of polling stations
Newfoundland
1 266
1 317
Prince Edward Island
296
308
Nova Scotia
1 989
2 081
New Brunswick
1 551
1 677
Quebec
13 831
14 528
Ontario
19 388
20 631
Manitoba
2 198
2 288
Saskatchewan
2 051
2 145
Alberta
5 105
5 411
British Columbia
6 581
7 121
Yukon Territory
74
72
Northwest Territories
88
85
Nunavut
42
41
Total
54 460
57 705

The majority of these polling stations were located in educational facilities (24.91%) and community centres (25.27%). As shown in Table E, polling stations were also established in places as varied as hospitals, fire stations and band offices within Indian reserves, to make voting as accessible as possible.


TABLE E
Premises used as polling stations on
election day – 37th general election 2000

Premises
Number
Percentage
Band office
151
0.87%
Elderly hostel
2 651
15.27%
Community centre
4 386
25.27%
Church hall
1 629
9.39%
Recreation centre
279
1.61%
Commercial site
425
2.45%
Educational
4 323
24.91%
Fire hall
376
2.17%
Federal building
8
0.05%
Hospital
463
2.67%
Municipality or township hall
775
4.47%
Royal Canadian Legion
281
1.62%
Post office
8
0.05%
Residential
1 009
5.81%
Other
592
3.41%
Total
17 356
100.00%

Each ordinary, stationary polling station served an average of 371 electors. The polls were open for 12 hours, with voting hours varying according to time zone (see Table F).


TABLE F
Hours of voting – 37th general election 2000

Time zone
Opening and closing hours of polling stations, local time
Closing times, Pacific time
Closing times, Eastern time
Newfoundland time
8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
4:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
Atlantic time
8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
Eastern time
9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
Central time
8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
Mountain time
7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
Pacific time
7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m.

Under the Act, every polling station is required to have level access. If returning officers are unable to obtain suitable premises equipped with such access, they may, with the Chief Electoral Officer?s prior approval, locate a polling station in premises without level access. For the election of November 27, 2000, only 89 polling stations (0.5%) did not have level access.

The Canada Elections Act also provides for the establishment of mobile polling stations to collect the votes of elderly or disabled persons residing in institutions. These polling stations, set up in polling divisions containing two or more health care institutions, travel from one institution to the next and are open for the period of time established by the returning officer. From coast to coast, 883 mobile polling stations were established to serve a population of 141 260 registered electors (see Table G).


TABLE G
Number of mobile polling stations and
electors served – 37th general election 2000

Province or territory
Number of mobile polling divisions
Number of electors served
Newfoundland
16
2 221
Prince Edward Island
9
925
Nova Scotia
24
4 001
New Brunswick
49
6 203
Quebec
214
32 850
Ontario
238
40 541
Manitoba
42
5 226
Saskatchewan
40
6 190
Alberta
121
23 047
British Columbia
129
19 975
Yukon Territory
1
81
Northwest Territories
0
0
Nunavut
0
0
Total
883
141 260

Returning officers are also required to locate an advance poll in each advance polling district. A total of 3 023 advance polls were established for the 37th general election, and these polls had to be located in premises with level access.

Returning officers also had to allow electors in their electoral district to register for the special ballot by 6:00 p.m. on November 21, 2000.

Election workers

Some 166 000 election workers were mobilized to serve electors in the offices of returning officers during the election period and at polling stations (see Table H).


TABLE H
Number of election workers in electoral districts –
37th general election 2000

Election workers
Number
Returning officers
301
Assistant returning officers
301
Additional assistant returning officers
81
Automation coordinators and assistants
602
Revision supervisors
301
Special ballot coordinators
1 069
Finance clerks
301
Training officers
394
Central poll supervisors
7 121
Deputy returning officers ? ordinary polls
57 705
Deputy returning officers ? advance polls
3 023
Poll clerks ? ordinary polls
57 705
Poll clerks ? advance polls
3 023
Registration officers
12 321
Information officers
8 696
Revising agents
7 627
Data entry staff
3 981
Support staff
1 553
Total
166 105

Each electoral district has its own returning officer, whose responsibility it is to appoint the assistant returning officer, deputy returning officers, poll clerks and all the personnel needed for the smooth operation of the election ? an average of some 550 people in all. The returning officer must be a qualified elector in the electoral district. All election workers are required to undertake formally to refrain from engaging in any partisan activities and to carry out their duties impartially.

The returning officer is appointed by the Governor in Council and cannot be removed from office unless there are sufficient grounds. However, the position becomes vacant if the returning officer resigns or the boundaries of the electoral district are changed as part of redistribution.

Since the general election of 1997, 72 new returning officers have been appointed (see Table I).


TABLE I
Appointments of returning officers

 
Number of returning
officers appointed
Number of returning
officers who resigned
1997    
June
0
1
July
0
1
August
0
1
September
3
0
October
0
0
November
0
2
December
0
0
Total for 1997
3
5
1998    
January
1
1
February
2
2
March
1
1
April
1
0
May
1
1
June
1
3
July
2
1
August
1
2
September
0
1
October
2
4
November
1
0
December
3
1
Total for 1998
16
17
1999    
January
1
3
February
2
1
March
1
2
April
3
0
May
1
1
June
1
0
July
1
3
August
0
1
September
3
2
October
1
2
November
2
2
December
1
0
Total for 1999
17
17
2000    
January
1
2
February
2
6
March
1
4
April
1
4
May
5
6
June
5
6
July
9
3
August
2
1
September
8
0
October
2
1
Total for 2000
36
33
Grand total
72
72

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