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Central Poll Supervisor Guidebook

Managing The Poll

Traffic or lineups

  1. CPS: Politely ask electors who have voted to leave
  2. CPS: If there are lineups at registration desks, ask PCs to pre-fill certificates if they are not busy
  3. CPS: If registration desks are continually busy, call the office to get more RegOs

Cell phones in the polling place

Electors, candidates or representatives can use their cell phones inside the polling place if they do not disturb others.

No one may record, film or take pictures inside the voting place. There is one exception: Electors with a disability are allowed to use their cell phone behind the voting screen as an assistive tool to help them vote - page 23

Workplace harassment and violence

Elections Canada upholds a zero tolerance policy on workplace harassment and violence.

Your role is to monitor, detect, prevent and report any incident happening at the polling place.

  1. Fill and submit Incident Report EC 10051 if you witness, are a victim or receive harassment or violence complaints
  2. If appropriate, call local authorities
  3. Complete Log of notable events – Polling Place Log EC 50358

Suspicious activities

Some examples of suspicious behaviour include:

  • destroying or removing electoral material or campaign signs
  • trying to use a fake ballot or one that was not issued to the elector by the DRO
  • leaving the polling place with a ballot(s)
  • trying to register or vote when not eligible or encouraging someone else to do so
  • trying to force someone to vote or refrain from voting
  • being intimidating or violent towards someone
  • spreading false or misleading information about candidates, political parties, when, where and ways to register and/or vote, or about qualifications to vote
  • taking photos or video inside the polling place unless pre- authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer
  • displaying campaign material inside a polling place
  1. CPS: Call emergency services, if necessary
  2. CPS: Observe the situation closely. Try to get the person's name, contact information and any statements that they made, and time of the incident
  3. CPS: Call the office to inform them of the situation. Provide as much detail as possible
  4. CPS: Follow the office's instructions

    Note they might tell you to ask the person to leave, to call the police or local authorities to have the person removed, or to have the ballot box or ballots returned to the polling place

  5. CPS: Fill out an Incident Report EC 10051

    Note include the names and contact information of any witnesses in the report

  6. CPS: Ask election officers and any witnesses to write a detailed description of what happened

If someone becomes ill or injured

  1. CPS: If required, call 911 or the local emergency number
  2. CPS: Make the person as comfortable as possible
    Do not move them
    Have someone stay with them
  3. CPS: Call the office to inform them of the situation. Provide as much detail as possible
  4. CPS: Follow the instructions and collaborate with emergency staff
  5. CPS: Fill out an Incident Report EC 10051
    Include the names and contact information of any witnesses
  6. CPS: Ask election officers and witnesses to write a detailed description of what happened

Evacuating the polling place

  1. CPS: Call 911 or local authorities. Report the incident
  2. CPS: If there is no immediate danger:
    • tell DROs and PCs to put all supplies in TransportBag
    • RegOs to put all supplies in Expandable Folder EC 50515
  3. CPS: Calmly evacuate the building and make sure everyone gets out safely
  4. CPS: Do a head count or roll call to make sure no one has been left inside
  5. CPS: Call the office to inform them of the situation. Provide as much detail as possible
  6. CPS: Return to the building only when allowed to by the authorities
  7. CPS: Ask election officers and witnesses to write a detailed description of what happened
  8. CPS: Fill out an Incident Report EC 10051

Break management

Manage your staff's expectations, so they know that breaks are to be given when time permits. When leaving on break, the election officer who is being replaced must:

  • ask your permission before taking a break, even if prescheduled
  • complete necessary logs at the start and end of the break
  • bring only personal items on break and leave all poll materials on the desk to be used by the election officer replacing them
  • remain on site and available in the event their assistance is needed
    Breaks should be managed without interrupting the service to electors.

When providing break coverage for DRO or PC:

  1. CPS: With DRO or PC, complete Log of poll workers – Events Log (page 3)
    • Start of Break:
      • ☐ Have DRO/PC indicate Time Out
      • CPS indicate Time In
    • End of Break:
      • CPS indicate Time Out
      • ☐ Have DRO/PC indicate Time In

    Note continue using ballots initialled by DRO

  2. CPS: Follow steps for Serving Electors – DRO/PC guidebook (p. 14-15)

When providing break coverage for RegO or IO:

When more than one registration or information officer work at your polling place, they can take turns replacing their respective roles to take breaks or you may step in to provide them one, as needed.

Incidents

An incident is a situation that disrupts – or could disrupt – operations or process at the polling place. All incidents must be reported back to the office at the end of each voting day on Incident Report EC 10051. Some incidents must also be reported to the office urgently through a phone call.

How do I know that it is an incident?

If any of these statements describe the situation, follow the steps in section Dealing with incidents; and any office instructions

  • it disrupts - or it could disrupt operations / voting at your polling place
  • you think it's illegal – under the Canada Elections Act or under another law
  • an elector who is qualified and eligible to vote is prevented from voting
  • an election officer continues to not follow procedures after you have explained them
  • a candidate or representative continues to not follow the guidelines after you have explained them
  • a List of electors is missing or ballots are missing
  • someone is injured
  • there's a risk to the health and safety of people at the polling place
  • it's a process issue affecting more than one elector
  • there was a risk to the health and safety of people at the polling place but you have solved it

If required, call 911 or the local emergency number.

Call the office if you think they need to know quickly or if you are not sure what to do.

Dealing with Incidents

When an incident happens at your poll, follow the steps below to guide you. Step 3 is required if the office needs to know quickly. Steps 5 and 6 are always required.

  1. CPS: Gather as much information as you can about the situation, including the contact information of people involved, if possible. You need to speak with them before they leave
  2. CPS: Take what steps you can to solve or reduce the problem quickly
  3. CPS: If you think the office needs to know about it quickly or if you're not sure what to do, call the office
    Take any further steps to solve or reduce the problem
  4. CPS: All incidents must be recorded on Incident Report EC 10051
    Provide as much detail as possible. If there is any related feedback on Feedback on Accessibility and Voter Experience Form EC 50119 refer to that form on the report
  5. CPS: Give the tear-off part of the form to the elector or other person reporting the incident to you. It allows them to follow up if they want to
  6. CPS: All completed Incident Report EC 10051 go inside Completed Feedback on Accessibility and Voter Experience Form Envelope EC 50122, then return it to the office at the end of the day

Other reports

If an incident affects voting at a specific polling station, it must also be recorded in Log of notable events - Events Log EC 50060 for that polling station. Tell the DRO or PC to note the reference number of Incident Report EC 10051 in the log. You may also need to record the incident in Log of notable events – Polling Place Log EC 50358.

Planned shift changes at Advance Polls

If it has been arranged for a DRO, PC or both to be replaced the following day, the outgoing DRO and PC must complete their closing procedures and record the handover of the Ballot Box, unused ballots, List of Electors and all other polling station materials to the CPS or the election officers who are replacing them.

When polls close, do the following steps in addition to Spot Check 7

If outgoing worker is the DRO:

  1. CPS: Check that the outgoing DRO followed the steps in their guidebook p. 62, step 3-4
  2. CPS: Sign entry on the Log of notable events – Events Log (page 4) EC 50060 recording handover of materials to yourself to forward the following day to the incoming DRO.
  3. CPS: Write the date and time when they stopped working on Time sheet for the Election Worker EC 11655
  4. CPS: After closing, and packing up their materials, the DRO will give you Transport Bag EC 50253. Take this home with you and keep in a secure location. Bring it back with you to give to new incoming DRO tomorrow morning.

If outgoing worker is the PC:

  1. CPS: Check that the outgoing PC followed the step in their guidebook — p. 62, step 3
  2. CPS: Write the date and time when they stopped working on Time sheet for the Election Worker EC 11655

When you arrive at the voting location the following morning

Incoming DRO:

  1. CPS: Confirm their name to List of names and contact information for election officers
  2. CPS: Write date and time on Time sheet for the Election Worker EC 11655
  3. CPS: Hand over Transport Bag EC 50253
  4. CPS: Remind them to follow steps in their guidebook for “How do I get ready to serve electors on Saturday, Sunday and Monday?”
  5. CPS: Sign entry on the Log of notable events – Events Log (page 4) EC 50060 recording handover of materials from outgoing DROto the new incoming DRO

Incoming PC:

  1. CPS: Confirm their name on List of names and contact information for election officers
  2. CPS: Write date and time on time sheet for the Election Worker EC 11655
  3. CPS: With the DRO, follow steps in their guidebook for “How do I get ready to serve electors on Saturday, Sunday and Monday?”

If an election officer has to leave unexpectedly

  1. CPS: If it's an emergency call 911 or local authorities. Report the incident
  2. CPS: Call the office right away and ask for a replacement and make a plan
  3. CPS: Manage your staff, and elector traffic. Call the office if you cannot avoid service interruptions
  4. CPS: When time permits, add entry in Log of notable events – Polling Place Log (page 8) EC 50358

    Note if the election officer cannot stay until a replacement arrives, the CPS (or another election officer present) can take over their role until their replacement arrives

Before the election officer leaves

All election officers should leave all materials and supplies given to them on their desk.

DRO or PC should complete Log of poll workers – Events Log (page 2)

DRO should add an entry in the Log of notable events – Events Log (page 6) recording the handover of materials

When the replacement election officer arrives

  1. CPS: Check their Solemn Declaration EC 10130 and complete any missing sections, or initialing any changes, then add their name to List of names and contact information for election officers
  2. CPS: Write date and time on Time sheet for the Election Worker EC 11655
  3. CPS: Show them to their station, show them what materials and supplies they are now responsible for and tell them to review their guidebooks.

DRO or PC should complete Log of poll workers – Events Log (page 2)

DRO should:

  • add an entry in the Log of notable events – Events Log (page 6) recording the handover of materials
  • balance records and ballots as soon as possible

Replacing an election officer when the RO office can't send a replacement

If the office is unable to send a replacement election officer, you will have to consider the resources you have available the polling place. If you have extra workers, you can re-assign workers to different roles to fill in any “gaps”.

Appointing an election officer

If you are unable to fill all roles and have consulted the office, you also have the option of appointing a qualified member of the public to the role of IO, RegO and PC, if the RO delegated you.

Note an election officer must be 16 years old and a Canadian citizen

CPS: How do I appoint a qualified member of the public as an election officer?
  1. Complete Solemn Declaration EC 10130
  2. Ask the incoming election officer to make the solemn
    declaration in writing by signing the form
  3. Confirm having received the solemn declaration by signing the form
  4. Separate the form
  5. Give the white copy to the incoming election officer
  6. Bring the yellow copy to the office at the end of the day
  7. Add their name to List of names and contact information for
    election officers
  8. Write date and time on Time sheet for the Election Worker EC 11655
    and have them sign it. Bring it to the office at the end of the day