Appointed by Nova Scotia’s Chief Electoral Officer, a provincial returning officer administers the electoral process in the electoral district in which they live. 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, there are 55 electoral district boundaries. These came into effect during the 41st provincial general election. New returning officers were 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.