Elections Nova Scotia

Elections Nova Scotia Returning Officers

Returning Officer Recruitment

Elections Nova Scotia is currently recruiting a returning officer for the following electoral district(s):

  • ED2 – Antigonish
  • ED4 – Bedford Basin
  • ED7 – Cape Breton East
  • ED24 – Glace Bay-Dominion

Click here for more information on returning officer recruitment including the on-line application.

The Role of Returning Officers

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.

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 can 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

List of Current Returning Officers

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