Watch For Your Notice of Registration
Every Nova Scotian whose name is on the voters' list for the Aug. 5 election should be receiving a confirmation of registration in the mail.
Changes in the Elections Act in 2001 mean this is the first time Nova Scotia has used the National Register of Electors -- a permanent voters' list maintained by Elections Canada. Most voters are already included on the list. That means the confirmation of registration notice is especially important.
"The notice isn't required to vote on election day," said Janet Willwerth, Nova Scotia's chief electoral officer. "However, it does confirm that you are registered to vote."
The notice also provides important information on when and where voters cast their ballots.
"Some areas will still need to be enumerated, like nursing homes or care facilities -- places with high residential turnover or where the national register data needs to be augmented," said Ms. Willwerth. "Some names that are on the list will need to be removed; people will have died or moved. Other people will need to be added. That's the nature of a permanent list, it's always changing."
That makes it all the more important for voters to confirm their information.
Ms. Willwerth said many people should have received their notices by the end of the week so the possibility of a postal strike, which could begin as early as Friday, should not cause great problems.
"Eligible voters who have not received their notice of registration in the next week should simply contact their local returning office to confirm that they are on the list," she said.
Information on returning offices can be found in the "Election Day, August 5" link of the Elections Nova Scotia Web site at www.gov.ns.ca/elo . Maps of electoral districts are also available on the site.
Voters can also receive information on their returning offices by calling Public Enquiries toll-free at 1-866-802-8584 or 424-7470 in Halifax Regional Municipality between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday and between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
Changes to the Nova Scotia Elections Act mean that even if an eligible voter's name is not on the list by Aug. 5, he or she may cast a ballot after having an application approved by a returning or revising officer and producing acceptable identification.
To avoid potential delays and problems, however, and to be certain of their right to vote, people are encouraged to confirm that their names are already on the electors list when they head to the polls.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
Notices of registration are now in the mail confirming the names of people already included on the voters' list for the August 5th Nova Scotia election.
The notices are not needed to vote on election day, but they do confirm that voters are on the list. They also give voters important information about where and when they can cast a ballot.
Chief electoral officer Janet Willwerth says a permanent list always needs some updating. People who do not appear on the list may need to apply to be added and people who have moved or died will need to be removed.
Eligible voters who haven't received a notice of registration by next week should contact their local returning office.
For information on returning offices, visit the Elections Nova Scotia Web site or call Public Enquiries toll-free at 1-866-802-8584 or 424-7470 in Halifax Regional Municipality.