Volunteer as a Scrutineer

Scrutineers represent candidates at the polls, to ensure fairness and transparency; and, to observe election procedures and the counting of ballots. Contact a political party of your choice to volunteer. Click here for political party contact information.

Scrutineers must:  

  • Be an elector;
  • Be appointed by the candidate – in writing;
  • Take an Oath of Secrecy; and
  • Follow the Code of Conduct.

To ensure all Scrutineers are an effective part of the voting process, a training video is available. We encourage all Scrutineers to access this training prior to attending a poll. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Scrutineer Training Video


Additional Information for Scrutineers

  • As a Scrutineer I shall:   

    • Comply with the legislation and the Code of Conduct,
    • Present a properly completed Appointment of Scrutineer identifying all polling stations and Registration Officer stations I will attend,
    • Complete an Oath of Secrecy before each Deputy Returning Officer or Registration Officer in charge of the stations to which I have been assigned,
    • Familiarize myself with my rights and responsibilities under the law and act accordingly, after reading “A Guide for Scrutineers”,
    • Perform my duties with honesty and integrity and in a manner that is helpful, respectful, and courteous, and
    • Be guided by the values of respect, integrity, and professionalism when dealing with members of the public, electors, election officers, colleagues, and all election stakeholders at all times.

    As a Scrutineer, I shall not:  

    • Engage in any political campaigning or promotion for or against a candidate or political party while performing my duties at a polling place,
    • Unduly interrupt the voting process or the orderly conduct of the election,
    • Make or accept cell phone calls in the polling place,
    • Engage in discriminatory or harassing behaviour, or
    • Make abusive, derisive, threatening, insulting, offensive or provocative statements or gestures to or about another person.

    Harassment is any conduct by an individual that is directed at and offensive to another person in the polling place, and that the individual knows or ought reasonably to know would cause offence or harm. It comprises any objectionable act, comment or display that demeans, belittles, or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment, or any act of intimidation or threat.

    Discrimination involves treating someone differently or unfairly because of a personal characteristic or distinction.

    A Scrutineer who fails to comply with this Code of Conduct will receive a written warning concerning his or her actions.

    A Scrutineer will be removed from the polling place if, in the opinion of the Supervisory Deputy Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer, the Scrutineer fails to comply with the Code of Conduct after receiving such a warning.

  • Scrutineers may arrive up to 30 minutes before the polls open; or, at any time before the polls close. The Scrutineer must provide their completed appointment form to the supervisor, at the correct polling place, to be granted entry.

    On approval of entry, the supervisor will first confirm that the Scrutineer understands the rules established in the Scrutineer Code of Conduct. Then, the supervisor will direct the Scrutineer to the polling station that they are to observe.

    At the assigned polling station, the Scrutineer will have to complete an Oath of Secrecy.

    NOTE: if the Scrutineer is observing more than one polling station, the Scrutineer will need to complete an Oath of Secrecy at each station.

    Scrutineers may:

    • Verify the ballot box is empty prior to polls opening;
    • Observe the election process;
    • Record elector sequence numbers;
    • View the “Record of Electors Who Have Voted” at the end of each advance voting day, or per hour on Election Day;
    • View the poll book, at a time that the election officers are not processing voters;
    • Challenge an elector if the Scrutineer believes the elector is not eligible to vote;
    • Use cell phones, tablets, or laptops while observing the election process, if:

      • No audio or video recording occurs;
      • No pictures are taken;
      • No phone calls take place; and
      • No audible sounds are played.

    If concerns arise, Scrutineers may report their concerns to the supervisor. If the supervisor is unable to resolve the concern, the Scrutineer may escalate their concerns to their candidate, who can address it with the Returning Officer.

    Scrutineers should not disturb the voting process to share their concerns.

    Scrutineers may arrive up to 30 minutes before the polls open; or, at any time before the polls close. The Scrutineer must provide their completed appointment form to the supervisor, at the correct polling place, to be granted entry.

    On approval of entry, the supervisor will first confirm that the Scrutineer understands the rules established in the Scrutineer Code of Conduct. Then, the supervisor will direct the Scrutineer to the polling station that they are to observe.

    At the assigned polling station, the Scrutineer will have to complete an Oath of Secrecy.

    NOTE: if the Scrutineer is observing more than one polling station, the Scrutineer will need to complete an Oath of Secrecy at each station.

    Scrutineers may:

    • Verify the ballot box is empty prior to polls opening;
    • Observe the election process;
    • Record elector sequence numbers;
    • View the “Record of Electors Who Have Voted” at the end of each advance voting day, or per hour on Election Day;
    • View the poll book, at a time that the election officers are not processing voters;
    • Challenge an elector if the Scrutineer believes the elector is not eligible to vote;
    • Use cell phones, tablets, or laptops while observing the election process, if:

      • No audio or video recording occurs;
      • No pictures are taken;
      • No phone calls take place; and
      • No audible sounds are played.

    If concerns arise, Scrutineers may report their concerns to the supervisor. If the supervisor is unable to resolve the concern, the Scrutineer may escalate their concerns to their candidate, who can address it with the Returning Officer.

    Scrutineers should not disturb the voting process to share their concerns.

  • Scrutineers must arrive at their assigned poll before it is closed and secured for the count. Any Scrutineers that have not already done so will then be required to sign the Code of Conduct and take the Oath of Secrecy.

    After the final electors have voted and the poll is closed, the election officers will then prepare for the count. Upon request, election officers can provide the Scrutineer with a Tally Sheet to record the unofficial count. The election officer will then proceed to open the ballot box and count the ballots cast for each candidate.

    During this process, Scrutineers may request to view but not touch, any ballot that they wish to see. Scrutineers may also object to any decision made on how a ballot is cast. Each objection will be noted in the poll book.

    NOTE: The election officer has the final say on how a ballot is cast during this count.

    Upon completion of the unofficial count, Scrutineers may request a copy of the Statement of Poll, which is a record of the unofficial count.