News release

Who, What, Where and Why: Election Fast Facts

By Communications Nova Scotia Staff

WHO CAN VOTE

To be eligible to vote, a person must be 18 years of age on or before election day and a Canadian citizen or British subject.

A voter must also have lived in Nova Scotia during the six months immediately before the election call -- since January in this election -- and in the polling division the date the election was called -- July 5.

There have been over 659,000 eligible voters in the last three provincial elections. Nova Scotia traditionally records among the highest voter turnout rates in the country; in the 12 general elections since 1960 the average turnout has been 74.9 per cent.


BUT I'LL BE ON VACATION ON ELECTION DAY

The general election has been called for Tuesday, Aug. 5, but eligible Nova Scotians who are unable to vote on that day have plenty of opportunities to be sure their votes are cast.

Advance polls will be held Friday, Aug. 1 and Saturday, Aug. 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A special poll will be held Thursday, July 24 from noon to 6 p.m. Other special polls are scheduled from 2 p.m to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 25; Saturday, July 26; Monday, July 28; Tuesday, July 29 and Wednesday, July 30.

For the first time in a provincial election, electors who are unable to vote at the special, advance or ordinary polls may be able to use a write-in ballot. Applications for write-in ballot kits are available from a voter's returning office in person or by mail beginning on Saturday, July 12. The deadline for an application for a mail ballot is Saturday, July 26. Write-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on election day, Tuesday, Aug. 5.


CANDIDATES' DEADLINE

Nominations for candidates for Nova Scotia's general election close Tuesday, July 22 at 2 p.m.

Candidates wishing to be on the Aug. 5 ballot must deliver their nomination papers to returning officers by that time. An hour later, electoral officials will send each riding's candidates' list to the Electoral Office in Halifax so that ballots may be printed.

Nova Scotians do not have to belong to one of the three traditional parties to become a candidate. In fact, they can nominate themselves.

Each candidate needs supporting signatures from five qualified voters and a $100 deposit.

Those representing a recognized party must also supply an endorsement letter from their party leader.

Deposits are returned if candidates receive 15 per cent of valid votes cast.


THE NEW PERMANENT LIST

This year, for the first time, Nova Scotia is using the National Register of Electors to help create the provincial voters' list. This means most voters were already registered when the election was called.

Elections Nova Scotia has worked over the last two years to improve civic address information to make the list as accurate as possible.

Voters who have moved in the past year or who have recently turned 18 may not be included in the list of electors at their correct address. As well, British subjects may not be included, since they cannot vote in a federal election.

All registered voters will receive a "Confirmation of Registration Notice" in the mail. An advertisement will be placed in newspapers advising when you should have received this notice.

Individuals who believe they are eligible to vote and who have not received their notice by the time newspaper ads appear, can contact their local returning office or call Public Enquiries 1- 866-802-8584 toll free or 424-7470 in Halifax Regional Municipality to check to see that their names are on the voters' list.

If you are not on the list, you will advised to go to your local returning office to fill out the proper forms so you can be added. Be sure to have proper identification with you.

You can still be added to the list of electors at your poll on election day, if you have the proper documentation, but you may experience delays.

For more information on the provincial election and the voters' list visit the Web site at: www.gov.ns.ca/elo/elections .

-30-

Contact:

Diane LeBlanc
Communications Nova Scotia 902-424-2077 E-mail:
kjd            July 9, 2003        11:20 A.M.