The main organization in charge of the election for each municipality is the municipality itself. Under the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities, the clerk in major populated centres or the secretary-treasurer in less populated centres plays the role of returning officer.
However, the Act entrusts major responsibilities to the Directeur général des élections du Québec who "may, on request, provide the returning officer with any assistance he may need to perform his duties" (s. 90 of the AERM). We may also "provide information to the public", notably by way of our Information Centre and by disseminating publicity. In addition, we provide training on the application of the AERM to the official representatives and agents of the candidates and political parties that we have authorized, as well as to returning officers. Moreover, we may, of our own initiative or at the request of a person, inquire into the application of a large portion of the AERM.
Texts of sections 89 to 91 of the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities
When it comes to municipal elections, our main responsibility is to ensure the application of Chapter XIII of the AERM concerning the "Financing of municipal political parties and independent candidates and the control of election expenses" (s. 367 of the AERM).
This chapter of the AERM applies to municipalities with a population of 5 000 or more. According to the décret de population 2009, website of MAMROT, Québec has 169 municipalities that meet this criterion. Four municipalities whose population has fallen below the 5 000 threshold remain subject to the financing rules because they have not chosen to be exempted from these rules. These municipalities are Chertsey, La Pocatière, Rivière-Rouge and Warwick.