Returning officer responsibilities
Here are the returning officer responsibilities from the Returning Officers' Handbook 2022.
The board is responsible for promoting elections.
The role of the returning officer is:
- Prepare separate rolls of all persons eligible to vote in:
- the election of parent representatives at the triennial or mid-term elections (for boards that have adopted the staggered election cycle).
- the election of one staff representative at the triennial elections.
- the election of one student representative, held each year in September.
- any by-election for the above positions.
- Call for nominations of people eligible to stand as candidates.
- Receive nominations, ensure these are valid and update the presiding member about the number of nominations.
- Ensure that the name of every eligible candidate is available for inspection at any reasonable time at the school, that is, from the time of receipt until polling day.
- To receive candidates’ statements and, if necessary, edit these statements; and to receive a candidate photograph, if included as part of their statement.
NOTE: The only grounds for editing a statement are if you reasonably consider that part of the statement is likely to be defamatory or offensive, or the statement is too long. A statement of about 400 words is a reasonable length. Retyping or sub-editing purely to improve the presentation is not a requirement
- If a voting election is required: to issue to each elector on the parent roll, a voting form containing the names of candidates for whom the elector is entitled to vote, together with candidates’ statements and a return envelope.
- If a voting election is required: to issue to each elector on the staff roll a voting forms containing the names of candidates for whom the elector is entitled to vote, together with candidates’ statements and a return envelope, or advise where these can be collected.
- Receive all voting forms and ensure they are held in safe custody.
- Open and examine all voting forms to determine whether the votes meet the requirements for validity, and count the number of votes cast for each candidate.
- Declare the results of elections.
- Promptly complete and submit Appendix 1 online, so the Ministry of Education is advised of the outcomes of all elections.
- Ensure that Appendix 2 is completed and submitted by newly elected board members, or report to the board chair that this needs to be done by the new board member(s).
NOTE: Returning officers must follow the election timetable and cannot alter it in any way.