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Compiled by Linda Belzile, Returning Officer, University of Ottawa


The paper on which a voter indicates a choice in an election or referendum


Campaign manager

The person in charge of organizing the campaign of a candidate



A person seeking election


Candidate's representative

The person representing the candidate at a polling station and/or at the official vote counting


Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)

The non-partisan officer who directs and supervises elections and referendums


Deputy returning officer (DRO)

The election officer who is responsible for the conduct of a polling station and who handles the ballots


Election day(s)

Also referred to as "polling day(s)"


Election officers

Include the Chief Electoral Officer, Assistant Chief Electoral Officer, returning officers, deputy returning officers and poll clerks



A person/persons entitled to vote in an election or referendum


Nomination papers

A form signed by the required number of electors and filed with the returning officer so that the candidate can seek office in the election


Official agent

A person authorized to enter into contracts on behalf of the candidate; a person appointed by a political party or candidate to ensure that the party's or the candidate's campaign is conducted in accordance with the law



A statement of positions on issues by a political party or candidate


Political party

A group of persons organized to nominate and support candidates at elections


Poll clerk

The poll officer responsible for the voters list


Qualified to vote

Meeting the requirements to vote as set out in the rules and regulations governing the election


Rejected ballot

A ballot improperly marked which is found in the ballot box


Returning officer (RO)

A person appointed to organize the election and supervise the polling stations during an election in a given electoral district


Spoiled ballot

A ballot improperly marked and exchanged for a new one


Statement of the vote

A report which includes the total number of votes obtained by each candidate and the number of rejected and spoiled ballots


Valid ballot

A ballot which is properly marked and counted



An elector who votes


Voters list

A list of persons eligible to vote; also known as the "list of electors"


Writ of election

An official document published by the Chief Electoral Officer, and sent to all returning officers, directing that an election be held and indicating the dates and times for campaigning and voting