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Amendments to the Municipal Elections Act

**** CNS Media Release

Amendments to the Municipal Elections Act
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Government wants to make it easier for Nova Scotians to vote in municipal elections or run for council.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Chuck Porter introduced amendments today, Oct. 10, to the Municipal Elections Act that would provide flexibility and more options to Nova Scotians to participate in municipal elections.

The proposed changes include:
— making it possible for people to vote in advance polls at a central polling place outside of their electoral district;
— extending polling hours if voting is disrupted on election day by an emergency;
— increasing the maximum number of electors from 700 to 1000 for each polling station
— providing clarity that members of boards, commissions or committees will not have to take a leave of absence to run in a municipal election;
— increasing the number of days, from 5 to 7, so returning officers have more time to receive nominations

“Municipal councils make important decisions that directly affect our daily lives, yet many people don’t vote in municipal elections,” said Mr. Porter. “With these amendments, we are removing barriers so people will have more ways to participate and ensure their voice is heard in local government.”

Quotes:
“I am pleased to support these amendments. Any time we can bring about changes that will make it easier and more convenient for people to vote, it is positive.”
– Alain Muise, president, Association of Municipal Administrators of Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:
— the amendments were developed by a committee of elections officials and department staff following the 2016 municipal elections
— in 2016, 46.5 per cent of Nova Scotians participated in municipal elections
— the next municipal elections will take place on Oct. 17, 2020
— the Municipal Elections Act is reviewed every four years after municipal elections take place
— the Municipal Elections Act was last updated in 2015 before the 2016 municipal elections

Additional Resources:
Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing Twitter: https://twitter.com/dma_ns

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