Returning officers appointed for Prince Albert

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Matt Gardner
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Elections Saskatchewan has appointed new returning officers for its two Prince Albert constituencies.

Jeffery Fisher and Barry Swanson were officially sworn as the returning officers for Prince Albert Northcote and Prince Albert Carlton, respectively, at a ceremony in Regina on March 17.

Returning officers represent the senior leadership team in the field for each constituency, with tasks including administration and reporting of electoral events.

“They help with mapping out (the) constituency into polling divisions where people actually vote,” Elections Saskatchewan spokesperson Tim Kydd said. “They help determine where the voting stations will be … They assist in hiring election workers and they lead the enumeration of voters.”

Kydd described the selection of returning officers as a merit-based hiring process, with positions advertised like any other job, résumés submitted and applicants subject to an interview before being hired.

Both Fisher and Swanson represent the first returning officers appointed since the re-drawing of provincial election boundaries, with 61 constituencies voting in the next general election.

Their swearing-in ceremony took place during the three-day Conference of Saskatchewan Election Officials, which involved supervisory returning officers (each of whom is responsible for overseeing five to eight constituencies), returning officers, elections clerks and Elections Saskatchewan head office staff.

Those are the key people in each constituency. Tim Kydd

Participants in the ceremony also included Lt.-Gov. Vaughn Solomon Schofield, legislative assembly Speaker Dan D’Autrement and chief electoral officer Michael Boda.

The two Prince Albert returning officers were not the only local elections officials hired this month, with Sandra Aiken and Fred Payton being named election clerks for the two constituencies.

“The election clerk reports to the returning officer, almost like a second-in-command in the area,” Kydd said.

“Those are the key people in each constituency … Come election day across the entire province, there’s roughly 10,000 people who will work on election day. So we have thousands of people who work just for that one day.”

The employment terms of the new returning officers will run through the next general election in Saskatchewan.

Organizations: Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Election Officials

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Regina

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