Report on the Conduct of the October 8, 2013 Provincial General Election and Recommendations for Legislative Change - Vol II
For Immediate Release
April 29, 2014
The Chief Electoral Officer’s Report on the Conduct of the Election of 2013 Tabled with Speaker of the House of Assembly
Includes 30 Recommendations for Legislative Change
(Halifax, NS) – The second volume of the Chief Electoral Officer’s report on the October, 2013 provincial general election was tabled with the Speaker in the House of Assembly today.
The 2013 election was the first test of the amended Elections Act, new electoral processes, new boundaries in 51 electoral districts, and new returning officers. The Chief Electoral Officer chose to commission an independent and open review to assess these new features.
“For many years, election management bodies in Canada have invited colleagues in other jurisdictions to witness their general elections first hand, said Richard Temporale, Nova Scotia’s Chief Electoral Officer. “For the 2013 election, I decided on a different approach.”
Temporale invited election experts from across Canada to formally audit the election and report on the successes, as well as to provide feedback on which new procedures could be improved.
There were four separate audits or reviews carried out. The first was a real-time audit of processes and procedures in the field carried out by independent election experts. The second was a compliance audit reviewing whether various voting documents were recorded correctly and completely. The third audit looked exclusively at the allegations of voter fraud during the election. . The fourth was a review looking into the success or failure to meet student expectations at the polls offered on university and college campuses throughout the province. .
The audit teams found that overall the general election was a success. During the post-election debrief session, members of the real-time audit team agreed on three broad areas of improvement: simplification, supervision, and sustainability. “Within each of these areas, suggestions are aimed at improving the overall integrity of the process through increasing compliance with procedures and rules,” said Temporale. “They will be the focus of ENS preparations for the next election.”
The Chief Electoral Officer’s report makes 30 recommendations for changes to legislation which he believes will improve elections in the future for the public-at-large, the candidates and their campaign teams.
“Perhaps the most important recommendation in terms of the effect its introduction would have on election operations is the call for the institution of fixed date provincial general elections” said Temporale.
Nova Scotia is the only province that hasn’t enacted fixed date election legislation. The Government of Canada and two of the three territories also have fixed date elections.
“The benefits to event preparation and management are evident,” he said. Associated with these operational advantages is a potential cost saving of up to $500,000 in administration costs.
The Report on the Conduct of the Election and Recommendations for Legislative Change, including the complete report of the independent audit team is available on the Elections Nova Scotia website at electionsnovascotia.ca.
For further information, contact:
Dana Phillip Doiron
Director, Policy and Communications