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Survey of Election Officers Following the 42nd Federal General Election

Background and Methodology

Forum Research was commissioned to conduct a survey of election officers following the 42nd general election. The research objectives were to:

  • Measure election staff's opinions on various election-related issues and on the quality of services they received from EC
  • Assess election staff's experience of the changes to the electoral process arising from Bill C-23 (Fair Elections Act)

The sample is based on Elections Canada's database of election officers who worked during the 42nd general election. The total sample is n=3,503, which results in an overall margin of error of 1.7%, 19 times out of 20. The survey was conducted between December 9, 2015, and January 7, 2016.

Sample stratification approach for targeted demographic dimensions has been applied in this survey. This approach allows for the oversample of populations that have been defined as "hard to reach" audiences, and ensures the results are representative to the actual election officers' population. The targeted demographic dimensions were specified as those who had worked in the following locations:

Sample (n) Margin of Error* (%)
Aboriginal reserve poll 282 5.8
Mobile poll 450 4.6
Student campus poll 466 4.5
Seniors' residence or long-term care facility poll 797 3.5


Abbreviation Sample (n) Margin of Error* (%)
Deputy Returning Officer DRO 1446 2.6
Information Officer IO 294 5.7
Central Poll Supervisor CPS 249 6.2
Registration Officer RegO 246 6.3
Poll Clerk PC 1268 2.8

*At a confidence level of 95%.

Regional, polling station, and type-of-poll groups where the sample size is less than 50 should be interpreted with extreme caution. These cases are indicated throughout the report where necessary.

The tables in this report have statistical analyses that compare each percentage with the overall percentage in the same row using plus (+) or minus (-) signs. A plus sign (+) indicates a statistically greater finding, whereas a minus sign (-) indicates a statistically lesser finding. All statistical significance is indicated at the 95% confidence level throughout the report.

All data reported in the tables are weighted. A weighting strategy was applied based on the Elections Canada Poll Staff database. Weighting is balanced according to:

  • Region
    • Provinces
  • Election staff position
    • Central Poll Supervisor (CPS)
    • Deputy Returning Officer (DRO)
    • Information Officer (IO)
    • Poll Clerk (PC)
    • Registration Officer (RegO)
  • Type of poll
    • Aboriginal reserve
    • Mobile
    • Student campus
    • Seniors' residence or long-term care facility
    • Other
  • Advance, election day, or both types of polls

Please note that throughout the report we may use the terms TOP2 and BTM2. These refer to a combined score for top and bottom measures on a scale. For example, on a 5-point scale where the top two points are "strongly agree" and "somewhat agree," we will often combine these scores for ease of interpretation in the report. Similarly, BTM2 would be a combination of "strongly disagree" and "somewhat disagree."

Also note that the column total percent and the TOP2 and BTM2 percent may not add to a hundred percent (100%) for the following reasons:

  • Due to rounding
  • Due to "don't know" and "refused" answers not being visualized in bar graphs

Further, any use of the word "significant" refers to the concept of statistical significance.