What is a scrutineer?
A scrutineer acts as a representative for a candidate and is appointed to observe election proceedings.
In order to act as a scrutineer a person must meet all of the following criteria:
- be at least 18 years old;
- provide a scrutineer appointment form signed by the candidate; and
- take an oath that they will uphold the rights of voters and preserve the secrecy of the vote.
(Scrutineer appointment forms have been provided to each candidate.)
How many scrutineers can a candidate appoint?
Each candidate can have up to two scrutineers at each voting station. Each voting place typically has more than one voting station. Candidates can appoint scrutineers on a shift basis.
If a candidate has only one scrutineer at a voting place where there is more than one voting station, the candidate does not have to provide the scrutineer with a scrutineer appointment form for each voting station. The scrutineer will, however, be required to sign the record of scrutineers in the voting record for each voting station they attend at the voting place.
Can a scrutineer display the name of his/her candidate?
No. At the voting place, scrutineers are not allowed to wear or display anything that identifies them as a supporter of one particular candidate.
At the voting place, no one is allowed to wear or display anything that identifies them as a supporter of one particular candidate.
A scrutineer may, however, wear a badge or ribbon that indicates by color only the candidate for whom the person is a scrutineer. It is important to note that even in this instance, the badge or ribbon must not indicate the name, initials, or an abbreviation of the name of, or insignia used by a political party or candidate.
Can a candidate act as a scrutineer?
Yes. A candidate is permitted to act as a scrutineer, and must follow all the rules and restrictions of a scrutineer.
What are the voting place rules that scrutineers must abide by?
At the voting place, scrutineers (or candidates acting as scrutineers) shall:
- Present a duly completed scrutineer appointment form at each voting location where he/she has been authorized to observe voting.
- Take the oath and sign the record of scrutineers contained in the voting record at each voting station.
Scrutineers (or candidates acting as scrutineers) are permitted to:
- Enter the voting place 15 minutes before it opens and inspect the ballot box, the ballot and the other election materials to be used at the voting station.
- Be present during voting and, from time to time, examine the voting record for a voting station but only if he/she does not interfere with the activities of the election officers at the voting station.
- Challenge a person wishing to vote if he/she believes that the person is not an eligible voter, or has already voted in the election.
- Remain at the voting place after the close of voting to observe the count and to view the results as shown on the tabulation tape from the automated voting machine.
Scrutineers (or candidates acting as scrutineers) are not permitted to:
- Interfere with the voting in any manner.
- Greet voters at the door, socialize in the voting place or pass out campaign material.
- Induce or attempt to ascertain how a voter marked his/her ballot.
- Communicate information about how another person voted.
- Disqualify a voter from voting.
- Cause a disturbance or campaign at the voting place.
- Interfere with the normal voting procedures.
- Be present at the marking of the ballot.
- Utilize electronic equipment at the voting place that is disruptive, such as cell phones.
Challenging a voter
An election official or scrutineer may challenge a person wishing to vote if he/she believes that the person:
- is not an eligible voter; or
- has already voted in the election.
In making a challenge, you must state the reason for it, and your name and the reason must be recorded in the voting record beside the name and address of the voter. Once the reason is stated, nothing further is required.
If no reason is given, the voter may proceed to vote as if no challenge had been made.
A challenge must be made before the voter is given a ballot. After the voter receives a ballot no challenge may be made against the voter.