Elections Nova Scotia Returning Officers
The implementation of 55 new electoral district boundaries as of March 1, 2020, for the next provincial general election, required all new Returning Officer appointments. As of March 1, 2020, all previous Returning Officer appointments are dissolved. The new Returning Officer appointments are now in place.
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 have been appointed 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. They are at the heart of the election in their district and must conduct the election according to the standards of the Chief Electoral Officer and the Elections Act.
Returning Officer duties include:
- appointing and training the election staff for the 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 the 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, and candidates
- undertaking projects between elections as directed by the Chief Electoral Officer
Returning Officers could be removed from office at any time if they:
- no longer reside in the electoral district
- are not able to act during an election
- have failed to perform their duties satisfactorily
- are no longer seen to be politically neutral