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Nova Scotians Asked for Feedback on Changes to Election Rules

Government wants to hear from Nova Scotians on proposed changes to the Municipal Elections Act.

“After every municipal and school board election a review committee looks at the recent election process to see if there are opportunities to make improvements before the next election,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Municipal Affairs.

“The changes being proposed are intended to simplify the voting process and improve the voting experience for the public.”

A discussion paper on municipal government and school board elections and rules for campaign financing is available on the Municipal Affairs’ website, www.novascotia.ca/dma .

“Campaign financing around municipal elections has been a topic of discussion across the country so we decided to gather information on this topic,” said Mr. Churchill. “I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to provide feedback on the discussion paper.”

The 11 proposed changes government would like input on are:
— changing the residency requirement
— clarifying penalties for not submitting campaign financing
— providing consistent dates for all advance polls, including electronic
— finalizing the voters’ list after election day
— allowing electors to take an oath when they do not have identification
— prohibiting taking a picture of a ballot
— permitting voters from putting their own ballot in the ballot box
— clarifying that it is a candidate’s responsibility to obtain a leave of absence from employment if required
— requiring retention of campaign disclosure statements and making the same requirements for school board elections as for municipal elections
— changing ballot printing requirements to be more flexible and cost effective
— requiring auditors to take an oath relating to confidentiality, when using e-voting

The department will introduce amendments to the legislation in the fall of 2015 so it is in place for the October 2016 municipal and school board elections.

Nova Scotians can provide feedback by mail or email until Sept. 4. The mailing address is, Minister of Municipal Affairs, P.O. Box 216, Halifax, N.S., B3J 2M4, and the email address is, localelections@novascotia.ca .

Source: Release

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