Information Officer Guidebook
Good To Know
This section includes information you might need at any time.
- If you are facing a situation that isn't described in this guidebook, or you need additional help, see your CPS
- Your CPS will plan for breaks. Wait to be relieved before taking a break
Assigned to door duty
Your job is to make sure the entrance and/or exit to the voting place is accessible to everyone, especially for people who may find it difficult to open the doors.
- stay by the doors at all times and never leave them unattended
- smile, be polite and respectful to everyone
- look out for anyone who might have difficulty entering or leaving
- open and hold the door open for anyone who might have difficulty entering or leaving
- offer help to anyone who may need it
- Ask — Listen — Do
- make sure someone takes over before you go for a break
Your supervisor will:
- visit you at least every 2 hours to make sure all is well
- make sure you get breaks, if you need them
- assign other workers to the door so you can take turns, if possible
Note Remember, for some electors, you could be the difference between voting or not!
Candidates and representatives must wear the badge shown above. They must sign in with the CPS at each polling place they visit.
Their main contact is the CPS, who can ask them to leave or have them removed if they don't follow Guidelines for Candidates' Representatives EC 20045.
They must stay neutral in the polling place, and they must respect the secrecy of the vote.
At ordinary polls they can collect Sequence Number Sheet EC 50111 from you every 60 minutes.
Note at advance polls they can receive information on electors who voted only after polls close
- IO: Send them to the CPS to sign in
- IO: If they are observing at polling stations or the registration table, show them where they can sit
- IO: At ordinary polls only, give them any Sequence Number Sheet EC 50111 from the folder for their candidate, if they are collecting them
If you have any questions about the behaviour of candidates or representatives, talk to the CPS
Elections Canada authorizes visitors. They must wear the badge shown above.
Their main contact is the CPS.
They must stay neutral in the polling place, and respect the secrecy of the vote.
They might be alone or in a group. They might be observing any aspect of the polling place. They will not interrupt you or the voting process, but they might ask questions if you are not busy.
- IO: Ask to see their badge. If they don't have it, send them to the CPS
- IO: Show them where they can sit
If you have any questions about the behaviour of visitors, talk to the CPS
The Canada Elections Act requires that an audit take place to ensure compliance with the procedures at polling places. An auditor may come to your polling place.
Elections Canada authorizes auditors. They must wear the badge shown above. Their main contact is the CPS. They must stay neutral in the polling place, and respect the secrecy of the vote.
Auditors usually work alone. They are observing voting procedures and reviewing the records being kept. They may observe at polling stations and at registration desks. They will not interrupt you or the voting process.
- IO: Send them to the CPS
If you have questions about procedures, ask the CPS, not the auditor. If you have any questions about the behaviour of auditors, talk to the CPS
- IO: Inform the CPS right away
- IO: Give them as much detail as possible, such as the person's name, address, time of incident and any statements made by that person
- IO: Follow their instructions
Some examples of suspicious activities include:
- IO: destroying or removing electoral material or campaign signs
- IO: trying to use a fake ballot or one that was not issued to the elector by the DRO
- IO: leaving the polling place with a ballot(s)
- IO: trying to register or vote when not eligible or encouraging someone else to do so
- IO: trying to force someone to vote or refrain from voting
- IO: being intimidating or violent towards someone
- IO: spreading false or misleading information about candidates, political parties, when, where and ways to register and/or vote, or about qualifications to vote
- IO: taking photos or video inside the polling place unless pre-authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer
- IO: displaying campaign material inside a polling place
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
Traffic or lineups
- Ask electors to form a line as they arrive
- Keep entrance to voting location clear
- Politely ask electors who have voted to leave
- If traffic persists, ask the CPS for help
The elector wants to be served in French
Electors have the right to be served in the official language of their choice. You are provided with tools to do so.
- Say "Un moment s'il vous plaît," and ask the CPS if there is someone who is bilingual who can help
- If there isn't someone who is bilingual, give the elector Bienvenue à votre lieu de vote EC 50140
Note the card explains the voting process. You can point to the steps as you do them
- If the elector is having difficulty, the CPS can call 1-800-463-6868 and ask for interpretation services
The elector wants help from an interpreter
Ask the CPS for help.
I think the elector might need help
- IO: Ask them if there is anything you can do to help
- IO: Listen carefully to what they say and be patient
- IO: Do your best to assist them
Tools for electors who need extra help
Some electors may need extra tools to vote independently.
This tool is at every table, including yours:
- EC 50140 Welcome to Your Polling Place Card — can be used to explain the voting process
The CPS has these tools:
- Magnifier — used to magnify and illuminate a document so the elector can see it better
- Braille list of candidates — for electors who can read braille (at ordinary polls only)
- EC 50170 Voting Template — used to hold the ballot in place and to help electors feel where to mark the ballot
The DRO has this tool:
- EC 50174 List of Candidates in Large Print — printed in a larger format for electors with a visual impairment
The elector can use their smartphone to help them in the voting process. If the app is used to take a photo of the ballot, ask them to make sure the photo is deleted after they have voted.
Service animals are allowed inside the polling place where local law permits.
If the elector considers the animal to be a service animal, treat it as a service animal at the polling place. You do not need to know if the animal is trained or if the person has a disability.
Service animals are working animals and should not be disturbed unless there is good reason to do so.
Some service animals, like dogs, might make noise or bark in order to assist the person. Do not disturb service animals when they make noise, unless the noise is excessive.
If the elector has a disability
You are legally required to accommodate electors with disabilities and to serve them in a way that respects their dignity.
Face the elector and speak calmly. Even if they have a hearing impairment, your natural facial expressions, gestures and body movements will help them understand.
Electors are allowed to use their cell phone behind the voting screen as an assistive tool to help them vote.
Let the elector know that they can leave feedback on accessibility and their experience receiving services. They can use the Feedback on Accessibility and Voter Experience Form EC 50119 available near the front of the voting room. The CPS can help.
Feedback, concerns or complaints
If someone has feedback, a concern or a complaint:
- take it seriously
- if it is something you can address easily and quickly, address it, then tell the CPS
- if you cannot address it easily and quickly, tell or direct the person to the CPS
Workplace harassment and violence
Elections Canada upholds a zero tolerance policy on workplace harassment and violence.
The CPS is designated to receive, document and report incidents happening at the polling place.
See the CPS if you witness or are a victim of harassment or violence.
Media representatives and photographers
By law, media representatives or photographers are not allowed inside the room where voting is taking place, except by special arrangement with Elections Canada.
If a media representative or photographer arrives unexpectedly:
- IO: Tell them to wait outside the voting room
- IO: Call the CPS
Good to know:
- that by law they are not allowed to enter the room where voting is taking place
- that they can call 1-877-877-9515 or visit www.elections.ca for more information
- that they may take pictures and video footage from outside the door of the room
- that they may not prevent electors from entering the room
- that they may not do anything that might compromise the secrecy of the vote
How do I use the Alphabetical List of Electors?
You will only use this if instructed by the CPS.
- IO: Find the elector's name
- IO: Check that the address they gave you matches the list
- IO: Find their polling station
Note at advance polls, look for the Advance Polling District (AP No.). At ordinary polls, look for the Polling Station Number (PS No.)