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The Right to Vote

These are busy days for Gary McLeod.

The province’s newest Chief Electoral Officer is in charge of overseeing Prince Edward Island’s 2015 election.

McLeod, a British Columbia native who spent 32 years with the RCMP, returned to PEI in 2002.  He served in Alberta, Yukon, New Brunswick, Regina.  McLeod and his wife, Carole, a Cape Bretoner, who teaches Grade 1 at St. Jean Elementary, have three grown children and two grandchildren.
McLeod says his extensive management training and experience with handling finances and thinking on his feet in crisis situations make him a good fit for this important job.   

“The role of Chief Electoral Officer requires a person to be well organized, non-partisan and conduct thorough and comprehensive responses in a variety of situations,” he said. “My previous training and experience allowed for an easy transition into this position.”
McLeod says great colleagues, people and technological advances are making his new role rewarding. He has just two elections under his belt - the French Language School Board elections in May 2014 and the Municipal Elections in November 2014 -- but both ran smoothly. 

“I have some excellent people to help me coordinate and run the elections across PEI which makes the job much easier.   I am also bringing in more technology to help improve the election process.  This has been challenging in many ways as there have not been big changes in the way our elections have been run for a number of years.  I have to make sure any change is actually for the better and not just for the sake of a change.”

With two advance polls completed, it will be head down for the next week, as McLeod and his team lead up to the big day, May 4.

“The role of the Chief Electoral Officer is very important in the democratic process. “It is my job to ensure people are informed and enable all qualified electors and candidates to exercise their constitutional entitlement in the election process as entrenched in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” he says.

“All the organization and work that goes into an election deals with this basic fundamental and it is one which will always be protected by this office.”

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