News release

Candidates Declared, Notices of Registration In the Mail

ELECTORAL OFFICE--Candidates Declared, Notices of Registration In The Mail


When nominations for candidates closed at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, 189 people had declared their interest in a seat in the provincial legislature.

The three main political parties are represented in all 52 ridings for the Aug. 5 provincial election. Sixteen candidates are running for the Nova Scotia Party, 11 candidates for the Marijuana Party and six as independents.

That means Nova Scotians have more choices than perhaps ever before. The 189 candidates top the 178 candidates who ran in 1999, the 163 in 1998, and the 180 in 1993. There are also more candidates than in elections during the 1980s and 1970s, said chief electoral officer Janet Willwerth.

With two weeks to go until Nova Scotians head to the polls, the candidates are not the only ones getting ready. The voters' list is also being refined. Notices of registration have been mailed to everyone whose name is on the list. Nova Scotians who believe they are eligible to vote but have not received the notice by the end of the week, should check with their local returning office to be sure they are on the list.

"We have said from the start that changes will be needed to the list," said Ms. Willwerth. "Some names will need to be removed. There may have been some inaccuracies, or some people may have died or moved. Other people will need to be added. That's the nature of a permanent list and a mobile society."

The 2003 provincial election marks the first time Nova Scotia has used the National Register of Electors as the foundation for its voters' list. Provincial officials spent more than two years preparing for use of the permanent voters' list, which is maintained by Elections Canada.

Using civic address information from federal, provincial and municipal sources, they have matched as many voters as possible with provincial polling divisions, including areas affected by boundary changes since the last time provincial residents were called to vote.

That makes it all the more important for voters to confirm their information. The notices also give voters important information about where and when they can cast a ballot. That may be especially important to people in areas affected by recent polling district changes.

"Eligible voters who have not received their notice of registration should be sure to contact their local returning office to confirm that they are on the list," said Ms. Willwerth.

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.

Special polls, for people who are unable to vote on Aug. 5 or at advance polls, begin on Thursday, July 24 from noon to 6 p.m.

Other special polls will be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 25, Saturday, July 26, Monday, July 28, Tuesday, July 29 and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 30.

Advance polls on Friday Aug. 1 and Saturday Aug. 2 are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

When nominations for candidates in the August 5th election closed Tuesday (July 22nd), 189 people had declared their interest in campaigning for a seat in the provincial legislature.

That may be the highest number of candidates ever to have offered in a Nova Scotia election.

The three main political parties are represented in all 52 ridings. Sixteen candidates are running for the Nova Scotia Party, 11 for the Marijuana Party and six as independents.

Meanwhile, notices of registration are now in the mail to all Nova Scotians included on the voters' list.

Eligible voters who have not received a notice in the mail may need to apply to be added. They 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.

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Contact:

Janet Willwerth
Elections Nova Scotia 902-424-8584 E-mail: