Press Release no. 12 – September 4, 2012 general election - 125 returning officers at the service of Québec's electors

August 13, 2012

Québec, August 13, 2012 –– Jacques Drouin, Chief Electoral Officer of Québec, wishes to recall the very important role played by returning officers in the organization of the general election that will be held this September 4.  The offices of these returning officers are open since August 1 to the general public in each of the 125 electoral divisions of Québec.

Under the authority of the Chief Electoral Officer, returning officers are in charge of the application of the Election Act in their electoral division. Therefore, they represent the Chief Electoral Officer and as such they have important responsibilities, especially as regards the candidates of their electoral division. In fact, returning officers decide whether or not to accept nomination papers; they supervise the printing of ballot papers; and at the conclusion of the electoral process, they declare as officially elected the candidate having obtained the most votes so that he or she may sit in the National Assembly. Returning officers also oversee revision operations pertaining to the list of electors: they strike revision committees, prepare their premises, ensure their training, and supervise their activities, while respecting their right to hand down independent decisions.

Lastly, their best known responsibility lies in organizing various types of voting procedures. In order to do so, they hire and train the election officers required to ensure that the election proceeds smoothly in each of the electoral divisions. In this regard, interested persons may apply for a job as a member of the election staff in their electoral division, by using the form available on-line on the Website of the Chief Electoral Officer. It is returning officers who supervise advance polling in their electoral division. On this subject, persons interested in availing themselves of the right to vote at home or certain conditions of voting in residential facilities must register with the returning officer.

The returning officers will also open a polling station at their office, as well as in one or more secondary offices in certain large electoral divisions. This vote will take place on August 24, 25, 28, 29 and 30 until2:00 PM. For the first time, at in a general election, at the same dates and hours, they will greet electors who reside temporarily in their electoral division so they will be able to vote outside their electoral division. Of course, returning officers are also responsible for holding the election on September 4.

In order to ensure the success of the various activities listed on the election calendar, every returning officer is assisted by a deputy, and aides. 

The names and the contact information of the returning officers of all 125 electoral divisions in Québec are available on the Website of the Chief Electoral Officer at On the home page, click on "Information on electoral divisions”. This takes you to a search engine where you simply have to select the name of the electoral division of interest.


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Categories : Provincial, General election 2012

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