Elections Nova Scotia

Elections Nova Scotia Returning Officers

The implementation of 55 new electoral district boundaries as of March 1, 2020, for the next provincial general election, requires all new Returning Officer appointments. The new Returning Officer appointments will be announced soon. As of March 1, 2020, all previous Returning Officer appointments are dissolved.

Appointed by Nova Scotia’s Chief Electoral Officer, a provincial returning officer administers the electoral process in the electoral district in which he or she lives. The position calls for broad management experience and a variety of skills. The work is diverse, challenging and rewarding. And, by its nature, it is impartial and non-partisan.

Nova Scotia is divided into electoral districts – each one with its own Returning Officer. As of March 1, 2020, 55 new electoral district boundaries are in effect for the next provincial general election. New Returning Officers will be appointed soon for these 55 districts.

Returning Officer appointments are effective for 10 years or until an independent Boundaries Commission reviews the electoral boundaries and recommends a new boundary set. A Boundaries Commission review is held approximately every 10 years.

To be a Returning Officer is to accept a huge responsibility. You are at the heart of the election in your district and must conduct the election according to the standards of the Chief Electoral Officer and the Elections Act.

If you were a Returning Officer, your duties would include:

  • appointing and training the election staff for your district, including an Assistant Returning Officer, Revision Assistant, Presiding Officer, Deputy Presiding Officer, and Poll Officials
  • leasing, equipping, furnishing, and managing a returning office
  • keeping the List of Electors for each polling division in your electoral district up to date and available, as well as revising it during and between elections
  • maintaining good public relations by answering questions and providing information to electors, candidates, and the media
  • undertaking projects between elections as directed by the Chief Electoral Officer

You could be removed from the office at any time if you:

  • no longer reside in your electoral district
  • are not able to act during an election
  • have failed to perform your duties satisfactorily
  • are no longer seen to be politically neutral 

List of Current Returning Officers


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