Elections Canada – CEO Message for Poll Workers

[music] Wondering if you have any messages to deliver to our field workers to election workers as we get in to these very, very busy days Well, the first message that I want to give them is, first of all, thank them for accepting to serve their fellow citizen on Election Day. It’s going to be a long day. It’s an important day for the country and I think that the the quality of the election will depend to a large, large extent on how we deal with Canadians at the poll. In that regard, the poll official plays a critical role. And how do you see the role of the election official, vis-a-vis the elector’s experience at the poll and making that a success? I think that it’s the most important factor is how you welcome people. Whether you’re happy to be there, happy to serve them and go out of your way to help, or guide them through the process. So, there are 60,000 ballot boxes out there manned by Poll Clerk/DRO. It adds up pretty quickly and there is a large-variety of people. Some of them are doing this for the very, very first time, and others have, are rather old-hats at it, having done it a number of times. Would you have a message to the new comers that are joining us for their first general election? Well, we expect to see, what, 14-15 million Canadians attending poll sites across the country on Election Day, so of course you will see all sorts of situations. Most of them will be smooth and easy. Canadians will arrive prepared; they will have their ID, probably their Voter Information Card. It will be easy to point them on the List of Electors, extend them a ballot and thank them for participating in the election. You will see some cases where some people will need some further guidance. They may not be as prepared as they should be, and that’s not for us to judge. They may just be confused about some of the requirements and I think it’s our responsibility to help them and guide them through the procedure. You will see a few cases, in fact probably a larger number of cases of people who will need assistance. People who will have overcome all sorts of barriers to come out to a poll, which shows already quite a commitment on their part. They will have suffered from all sorts of disabilities and our job there is to make sure that we offer them the assistance that they may need to be able to cast their ballot. In some rare cases, you may see people who will be just a bit upset for whatever reason that has nothing to do with you at the poll. In fact, they may have had a bad day at the office, or something came up at home and they are a bit grumpy when they show up at the poll and again it’s a matter of keeping a smile, I think that may help them. And as well as remaining courteous and helping them proceed with the process that needs to be applied. I think it’s interesting to note, that we are completely immersed in this process. I mean, we live it and breathe it here at headquarters and on-going to a lesser extent, poll workers but for the elector the experience is, is really 1 day in 4 years Every 4 Years! and 10 minutes.
to a lesser extent, poll workers but for the elector the experience is, is really 1 day in 4 years Every 4 Years! and 10 minutes. Yeah, and they have been inundated by information over the last, what, 78 days now this campaign has last, so yes for them they are just ready to express their choice and they want this to be done as smoothly, as quickly as possible. Ideally, I often say it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes coming in to the poll and getting out of it. So, that will be the experience of most Canadians, and that’s where poll workers make such a big difference. And again, there will be this odd situation here and there, in fact, some people may come and just want to express a view and make a protest about something they deeply care about, and I think again, remain calm and just deal with the matter, process the voting, and thank them for coming to the poll and casting their ballots. And that smile does go a long way.[Absolutely] Mr. Mayrand, thank you for taking the time. I know it’s a busy time for you Pleasure and again, thanks to all of you for the important service that you will offer on Election Day. Thank you.

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