Government of New Brunswick

Vacancy for appointment

Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick and Elections New Brunswick

Returning Officers

Appointed by Lieutenant Governor in Council and reporting to the Chief Electoral Officer, a Returning Officer is responsible for the preparation and conduct of elections conducted under the Elections Act in each of the forty-nine (49) electoral districts across the province.

In September 2018, and every four (4) years thereafter, general elections are held to elect all Members of the Legislative Assembly. By-elections are required to fill vacancies that may arise.


Current positions to be filled:
Returning Officers in forty-eight (48) electoral districts.

The Returning Officer for 45-Carleton was appointed in August 2015 and remains in place.


Responsibilities of a Returning Officer
The position of Returning Officer is a part-time position employed when electoral events are required.  Returning Officers are responsible for the proper operation and supervision of their returning office, their staff, all polling stations and the election officers employed in them.

Returning Officers are responsible to:

  • Hire and supervise an Election Clerk, training officer, special voting officers, revision officers and general office staff to operate the returning office;
  • In combination with their Election Clerk, actively offer service in both official languages, and ensure that electors, candidates, and others are able to receive services in the language of the choice of the person requesting a service of information;
  • Review polling divisions, polling division groupings, and maps of their electoral district with mapping officials from Elections New Brunswick;
  • Identify and lease returning office and polling stations to be used in the electoral event;
  • Work with personal information of eligible electors in a confidential manner to maintain the list of electors throughout the election period and prepare copies of lists as needed for candidates and election officers;
  • Ensure legislated procedures in the Elections Act, including Instructions of the Chief Electoral Officer are followed exactly with little or no room for variance;
  • Hire, train, and supervise all election officers for advance polls and regular polling day;
  • Manage all employees’ schedules to ensure budgeted hours are not exceeded to comply with budget restraints;
  • Provide information on all aspects of the electoral process to members of the public, prospective candidates, and candidate representatives;
  • Manage all equipment and materials required for use in their electoral district for an electoral event including computers, printers, tabulation machines, election officer kits, ballots, etc.
  • Accept nomination papers from candidates;
  • Mediate disputes between candidates, candidates’ representatives, electors, and/or election officers over what is - and what is not - allowed by way of campaigning and various other aspects of the electoral process;
  • Oversee the counting and reporting process of the ballots and make the information available to Elections NB, the public and media as it comes in from polling stations and declare the winning candidates;
  • Ensure work is performed accurately, efficiently, on-time, and in an atmosphere of reasonable calm; and
  • Ensure Elections NB receives, on a timely basis, all necessary reports from their electoral region.


Candidates recommended for appointment as a Returning Officer must:

  • Be an eligible elector in the province (Canadian citizen, eighteen years of age, ordinarily resident in the Province for a period of at least 40 days), and not have been found guilty of a corrupt practice under the electoral laws of Canada, of any province, or of any municipality;
  • Have strong oral, reading and written communication skills.  If the candidate is not fluent in both official languages, the candidate must appoint as his or her Election Clerk a person who is fluent in both official languages;
  • Have a detailed understanding of their electoral district of New Brunswick in which he or she is applying as a Returning Officer;
  • Demonstrate independence, sound judgment and leadership;
  • Have strong communication skills and inter-personal skills;
  • Have a reputation for integrity, honesty and fairness;
  • Work effectively with others and manage conflict constructively;
  • Prior to by-elections and plebiscites, be able to work from home until it is determined that a returning office be opened;
  • Be able to effectively communicate using email, operate Microsoft Word and Excel, operate election computer programs and associated hardware;
  • Be physically and mentally capable of working in a stressful office environment of up to 70 hours per week in certain weeks of an electoral event.  Depending on the electoral event, intensive work is required for a six (6) to ten (10) week period;
  • Be accessible by the Chief Electoral Officer, the public, the media, candidates and their representatives at virtually all times throughout the election process; and
  • If already employed, take a leave of absence from that job for the duration of an electoral event.


Essential Qualifications/Asset Qualifications:
Although specific training and instructions are provided by Elections NB, Returning Officers are responsible for ensuring the integrity and transparency of the electoral process and that elections are conducted in compliance with strict legislated procedures. Returning Officers must make many important decisions and recommendations based on local circumstances and conditions to resolve numerous issues that can arise over the course of an electoral event. Returning Officers must act above reproach in their duties and operate in a non-partisan manner.  They must abstain from all activities of a politically-partisan nature during electoral events.

The appointment of Returning Officers must reflect gender and linguistic representation, as well as the cultural and geographic diversity of the province.


Returning Officers are paid for their work under the Tariff of Fees Regulation – Elections Act. They are paid $30 per hour to attend instructional seminars or judicial recounts, and perform normal duties for an election.  Returning Officers are reimbursed at current government rates when required to travel for training or to perform election related duties.


Expressions of interest (via the application form on the ABC website or a resume and a cover letter) may be submitted by e-mail, regular mail or fax, with details of relevant experience and/or qualifications and contact information (telephone number, civic address and e-mail address). 



Note:  Elections NB is an independent office of the Legislative Assembly.  Elections NB will receive and initially screen all applications and forward them to the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council for its consideration and selection of the appointees.


Sartain MacDonald Building
Room: 102  Floor: Ground
P. O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB
E3B 5H1

Toll free number 1-888-858-8683

Fax:  (506) 457-4926

While we appreciate the interest of those who submitted an expression an interest, only those candidates selected for consideration will be contacted. 



Deadline for Submission :

16 October 2017

Type of Appointment :

Appointed by Lieutenant Governor in Council by Order In Council

Term :

Appointments of returning officers expire 240 days following the date of a general election, in accordance with subsection 9(5) of the Elections Act.

Associated / Responsible Department :

E-mail address for submissions :

Link(s) :

Application Form


Forty-nine (49) electoral districts

Note: Please ensure you have attached necessary documents in Word or PDF format. Links to cloud-based documents (Skydrive, Google Docs, etc.) or other download areas (FTP sites) cannot be accepted due to current Government of New Brunswick security policies.