Chief Electoral Officer (Canada)
The Chief Electoral Officer is the person responsible for overseeing elections in Canada.
The position of Chief Electoral Officer was created in 1920 by the Dominion Elections Act. The Chief Electoral Officer is appointed by a resolution of the Canadian House of Commons. He or she reports directly to Parliament and, therefore, is completely independent of the government of the day and all political parties. The Chief Electoral Officer is not allowed to vote in federal elections. The Chief Electoral Officer serves until retirement at age 65 or resignation. They can be removed from office only for cause, by the Governor General of Canada after a joint request following a majority vote by the House of Commons and Senate of Canada.
The Chief Electoral Officer is responsible for the administration of elections, referendums and other important aspects of Canada's electoral system. The Chief Electoral Officer is assisted in carrying out this mandate by the Assistant Chief Electoral Officer and the Broadcasting Arbitrator who ensures that the provisions of the Canada Elections Act and the Canada Referendum Act are carried out, and the Commissioner of Canada Elections who enforces the Act. Neither the Chief Electoral Officer nor the Assistant Chief Electoral Officer may vote in a general election, the only resident Canadian citizens 18 years of age or older who can't.
Nine directorates make up Elections Canada, the organization that carries out the specific roles and responsibilities under the CEO's mandate.
Former Chief Electoral Officers
- Oliver Mowat Biggar (1920–1927)
- Jules Castonguay (1927–1949)
- Nelson Jules Castonguay (1949–1966)
- Jean-Marc Hamel (1966–1990)
- Jean-Pierre Kingsley (1990–2007)
- Marc Mayrand (2007–Present)