Municipal Election Officials

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A number of elections officials are required to run a municipal election or by-election.

What are the election official positions?

  1. Municipal Electoral Officer (MEO) – oversees the entire municipal election process
  2. Deputy Municipal Electoral Officer (Dep. MEO) – acts in place of the MEO if they are not available 
  3. Returning Officer (RO) – administers the election
  4. Deputy Returning Officer and Poll Clerk – takes votes at the advance poll and on election day.

There are other election official positions that municipalities may have, especially municipalities with a large elector population.

The number of election officials will depend on the size of the municipality.

How are election officials appointed?

The MEO and Deputy MEO are appointed by council resolution.  In a general election year, a municipality must appoint these officials before the second Monday in May.  The MEO and Deputy MEO will be appointed for a by-election as required.  The Chief Administrative Officer can be appointed as the MEO and municipalities can share MEOs.

The MEO will appoint the Returning Officer (RO).  The MEO can appoint the RO when it is appropriate for the municipality.  The months before the election will be a very busy time for an MEO, so in most cases, the RO would be appointed one to two months before the election or by-election.

The Returning Officer will appoint the other election officials required to run the election.  These election officials must be appointed by the 14th day before the election.

Do I have to live in the municipality to be an election official?

The eligibility requirement for all election officials (except the Municipal Electoral Officer) is that they must be a resident of Prince Edward Island. 

I have been appointed as an Election Official, what now?

The procedures for general elections and by-elections are guided by the Municipal Government Act, the Municipal Election Regulations, the Campaign Contributions and Election Expenses Bylaw Regulations, and the Plebiscite Regulations.  

The Municipal Elections Guidebook provides an overview of the municipal election process.

All election officials (except the MEO and Deputy MEO) must make a declaration that they will faithfully and impartially perform their duties in the administration of the election (or by-election):

Contact Municipal Affairs if municipal election officials require information and training sessions on municipal elections and the voting process.

What materials are required for the voting and counting process?


The Poll Clerk uses the Official List of Electors (provided by the Returning Officer) and maintains the Election Record during the voting process.


The Deputy Returning Officer must complete the Statement of the Vote at the end of the count for each council position (Mayor and Councillor) and each poll.  The Poll Clerk and other counters will use a Tally Sheet to mark the votes for each candidate. 

After the initial vote count, the Returning Officer will prepare a Recap Sheet from the information in the Statements of the Vote.  The Municipal Electoral Officer will verify the Recap Sheet.

Where can I find more information?

Note: This page is prepared for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specialized legal or professional advice.
Date de publication : 
le 1 Novembre 2018