The Chief Electoral Officer is responsible for conducting territorial elections that are free and fair, as set out in the Elections and Plebiscites Act, and is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.
The Chief Electoral Officer appoints a Returning Officer to run the election in each electoral district. The Returning Officer is the contact person for voters and candidates in their electoral district.
In communities without a resident Returning Officer, residents can to talk to their Additional Assistant Returning Officer (AARO). The AARO can assist you with contacting your Returning Officer and ensuring you are directed to the correct source for any election-related information you seek.
Approximately 300 election workers are appointed to administer a general election, including Assistant Returning Officers, Additional Assistant Returning Officers, Deputy Returning Officers, Poll Clerks, and Interpreters. Election officers in each electoral district are appointed by the Returning Officer.
What is a Returning Officer?
A Returning Officer is appointed for each of the 19 electoral districts in the Northwest Territories. Returning Officers are appointed by the Chief Electoral Officer, an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly. Neutrality and non-partisanship are crucial to the performance of a Returning Officer.
The overall duties of a Returning Officer include: appointing election workers, dividing the electoral district into polling divisions, revising the voters list, approving candidate nominations, directing the administration of the ballot, and conducting an official addition of the votes cast for each candidate.
During an election, Returning Officers will get questions from election workers, Candidates, and Official Agents about the rules of conduct during an election campaign. A Returning Officer works closely with the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer to help people understand the electoral process and uphold the integrity of the electoral system.