The Canora-Pelly constituency office opened last week at 105 Main Street (former bingo hall) in Canora and promises to be a busy place leading up to the province’s 28th general election on April 4. Lois Person of Preeceville is the returning officer.
Writs of election were issued to returning officers in Saskatchewan’s 61 constituencies on March 8 by Dr. Michael Boda, Chief Electoral Officer of Saskatchewan.
The issuance of writs has been part of Saskatchewan's history since its founding, Boda said.
With the addition of three constituencies in this election cycle, “it will be the largest electoral event in our province's history," he said. "Our tradition of democracy in Saskatchewan is essential to everything that we do. Whether you are a voter, election worker or candidate, I look forward to your participation."
The writs of election were issued following receipt of an order from the Lieutenant Governor in Council instructing that the general election be held on April 4.
While the main parties which will be participating in the election have announced who their candidates will be, the candidates have to be formally nominated. The returning officers began accepting nomination papers after the writs were issued. The nominations for candidates closes on March 19 at 2 p.m.
"It's been a busy year scouting out and securing office space and temporary facilities equipment in each of our 61 provincial constituencies," said Boda, "Returning officers and election clerks will call these offices home for much of the next two months as we get ready for the April 4 election."
These constituency offices are where election officials prepare the polling station packages needed to get ready for 815,000 eligible voters in Saskatchewan. Across the province, there are roughly 1,700 voting places that host roughly 3,600 polls.
Boda said that in total, for all voting places including election day, advance voting, mobile and special polls, election workers will handle:
• 815,000 ballots (one per each eligible voter);
• 15,940 pens;
• 12,080 zip lock bags;
• 8,220 name badges and lanyards;
• 7,970 pencils;
• 7,970 pencil grips;
• 5,000 ballot boxes and screens;
• 4,110 pencil sharpeners; and
• 4,110 rulers.
"Delivering an election is a massive undertaking that involves more than 10,000 people around Saskatchewan," Boda said. "The returning offices will be full of excitement over the next few weeks as we prepare to deliver the largest electoral event in Saskatchewan's history."
To be eligible to vote, the criteria to be followed is that the person: be a Canadian citizen; be at least 18 years old; and has lived in Saskatchewan for at least the six months before the day the election is called. Saskatchewan residents who are now studying outside the province are eligible to vote, as are students from out of province who are now studying in Saskatchewan.
Active members of the Canadian Forces and their families from Saskatchewan serving outside the province can vote. Active Canadian Forces members and their families from outside the province currently serving in Saskatchewan are also eligible to vote.
Elections Saskatchewan estimates that there are 815,000 eligible voters in Saskatchewan. As of February 23, the end of the enumeration period, there were 745,003 names on the voters list. Eligible voters not yet registered, or in need of updating their own information, can do so until March 22 at www.elections.sk.ca/voterregistration or by calling 1-877-958-8683. After March 23, one can still vote by registering in person during advance voting (March 29 to April 2) or on election day, April 4.
There are many ways to vote in this election. Information on all of these options is available on Elections Saskatchewan website at www.elections.sk.ca/waystovote. Information is available about how to vote: on election day; in advance voting prior to election day (March 29 to April 2); in a personal care home; in a hospital; in a person’s home (homebound voting); or voting by mail (absentee voting).
Because a person must show identification to vote, the website includes a complete list of acceptable ID documents.
Elections Saskatchewan is the province's independent, impartial, professional election management body. Given a mandate from the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly, it organizes, manages and oversees provincial electoral events, including the upcoming April 4 general election.