Returning officer responsibilities

Here are the returning officer responsibilities from the 'Returning Officers' Handbook 2022 and beyond'.

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 paper 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 paper 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 papers and ensure they are held in safe custody.
  • Open and examine all voting papers 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.

 

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