Independent audit report on the performance of the duties and functions of Election Officials – By-elections April 3, 2017
We conclude that Election Officials properly exercised the powers conferred on them, and properly performed the duties and functions imposed on them under sections 143 to 149, 161 to 162 and 169 of the CEA, on all days of advance polling and on polling day for this by-election.
Overall, our testing results confirmed that regular electors (approximately 92% of electors) were processed appropriately. Although not a major finding, we did note some instances when EC officials accepted insufficient ID and did not document that electors cast their ballot on a timely basis. For the 8% of electors who were subject to special procedures, overall, the testing results confirmed that identification of the electors was verified appropriately most of the time, including the duties performed by the REGO. However, some of the special procedures were not performed consistently. Despite this, our audit noted that Election Officials consistently acted in the best interest of the electors and worked diligently to ensure the most positive election experience for all.
Our findings during this by-election are consistent with our findings reported in our report on the 2015 general election and the 2016 by-election whereby errors were noted with the administration of special procedures. We identified situations when the election official did not administer special procedures at all or when special procedures were administered, they were wrong based on the circumstances. While some Election Officials are aware that special procedures are required, there is a lack of clarity in terms of which certificates/forms to administer.
We noted minor modifications to EC's training presentation to reinforce certain tasks and procedures for serving electors. We noted some improvements to the order of the slides that included adding slides to further emphasize the principles of elector eligibility. Based on our observation of training sessions, we noted that certain changes were made by training officers to the delivery of the training presentation. Overall, EC's training program is comprehensive and is effective for providing prescriptive guidance and support to the temporary workforce that is hired to work at each by-election.
In reaching our conclusion, we considered the following factors:
- We were not charged with auditing the election results, our scope was limited and did not touch on the duties of all Election Officials and we did not assess all of the duties of the Election Officials we did observe. For example, we did not observe the counting of the ballots and recording and reporting of voting results.
- We did not note any major findings relative to regular voters.
- We noted one major finding relative to special procedures.
We did observe and have reported certain errors and mistakes in documentation and record-keeping relative to electors requiring special procedures and have reported those errors and mistakes that we believe to be significant as Other Observations.
The issues that we observed and reported do not affect our underlying conclusion as set out above.