What is a Returning Officer?

A Returning Officer is the key person responsible for running the election in each electoral district. They are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the formal name for the Cabinet.

The Returning Officer's tasks involve:

  • Appointing election staff that includes an election clerk, deputy returning officers, poll clerks, and other poll officials as required.
  • Finding and renting office space, furniture, and equipment as well as having telephones installed. 
  • Printing the Voters List and revising it as required. 
  • Training election staff and staffing the returning office on a full-time basis for the period of the election.  
  • Answering questions and providing information to voters, candidates, and other interested groups in the electoral district. 

A Returning Officer is not able to begin the election process until an election is called by the Government and the Writ of Election is issued for each electoral district.