In 1970, a first conference of Canadian Election Officials was organized by Professor T.H. Qualter of the Political Science Department of the University of Waterloo. The objective of this conference was to discuss subjects related to the electoral system and its administration.
A second meeting was held in 1974 and was attended by 21 election officials. It was at this meeting that the idea of forming an "association of Canadian election officials" emerged. It would not be an association as such but rather a group, whose main objective would be to promote communication between the members during an annual conference.
It was in 1975 that the first Conference of Canadian Election Officials took place. It was held in Québec City and Professor Qualter was invited as an observer, since these conferences are generally only intended for staff members of the Canadian electoral administrations. Since then, a meeting has been held each year, and the electoral administrations have taken turns hosting the conference. Since 1975, Québec has hosted the conference three times, including in 2008, the year of the 400th anniversary of Québec City.
The objectives of the conference are to forge ties with the counterparts of other administrations, to examine the evolution of Canadian electoral systems, to gather information on the other administrations, and to discuss the best practices in the electoral field.