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Returning Officers' Handbook

The Returning Officers' Handbook 2019-2022 (download as pdf) has all the detailed information returning officers need to undertake their role effectively.  The timeline for the election process is also included in the handbook.

Returning Officers' Online Module

Learn more about the role of the returning officer by completing the modules below.

Asset 1 Asset 2Asset 3

Asset 4 Asset 5


What is the role of the returning officer?

The role of the returning officer in school trustee elections is critical to a smooth-running election process. It includes preparing the electoral roll(s), calling for and accepting nominations, running the elections (when one is required), counting the votes and declaring the results. More information on the returning officers' responsibilities.


How is a returning officer appointed?

The Governor-General, by Order in Council, makes regulations prescribing:

  1. the manner in which elections of trustees is held
  2. the manner in which returning officers are to be appointed for the purpose of the election of trustees.

Those regulations require that: 

  1. The board of every school must appoint a returning officer for each trustee election held to elect any of the following:
    1. a parent representative
    2. a staff representative
    3. a student representative.
  2. If a board fails to appoint a returning officer for an election within the time required under the relevant election timetable, the Secretary must appoint a returning officer for that election.
  3. If a returning officer becomes unable to carry out the duties of a returning officer, the board or the secretary (depending on who appointed the original returning officer) must appoint a replacement returning officer.
  4. Every returning officer must conduct the election-
    1. in accordance with these regulations; and
    2. in accordance with the relevant election timetable; and
    3. otherwise, as he or she thinks fit.
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