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Local Government Elections Take Place Monday

By Brad Perry Nov 27, 2022 | 6:53 PM

Thousands of New Brunswickers will begin their week by visiting a polling station on Monday.

Local government elections are taking place in dozens of new communities formed through local governance reform.

And many other New Brunswick residents are eligible to vote in rural district advisory committee elections.

Chief electoral officer Kim Poffenroth said Elections New Brunswick has spent the past year preparing for today.

“When we first got word that the province was going to go ahead with the municipal restructuring for the elections in this year, it was about a little over a year ago, we immediately began our preliminary work,” Poffenroth said in an interview.

“Creating geography and polling divisions and assessing polling locations and ordering all of the materials and training people. It’s been a very, very busy year.”

First time voting for many

Many of the roughly 230,000 people who are eligible to vote just participated in municipal elections in May 2021.

But for others in the province, it is their first time electing a council position to represent them at a local level.

Poffenroth said it is important for people to make sure they get out and have their voices heard at the ballot box.

“These are important positions. Councils make decisions that affect the day-to-day lives of everybody living in their community, whether it’s road maintenance, snow clearing, police, fire, recreational facilities, parks,” she said.

Voter turnout predictions

More than 26,000 people voted during advance polls on Nov. 19 and 21, on top of roughly 2,500 people who voted at returning offices prior to those polls. That put early voter turnout at around 12.5 per cent.

Local government elections historically draw low voter turnout, and Poffenroth said it is hard to say what the final tally will be.

“It’s hard to gauge whether people are going to be very engaged and very interested because it’s their first opportunity, or if it hasn’t resonated with them that it’s something that they need to engage with,” she said.

“I think of this election of where the bar is being set going forward. It’s very much the first time that every New Brunswick will have elected some sort of council position to elect them at the local level.”

How to find out where you vote

Polling stations will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, with results expected to come shortly after that.

Poffenroth said eligible voters should have received a voter information card, which they should bring with them to speed up the process.

“If you haven’t received a voter information card, bring some sort of documentation or ID that has your name, your signature and your civic address. That’s what you’ll need if you need to be added to the registrar of electors,” she said.

New Brunswickers can go to Elections New Brunswick’s website or call 1-888-858-8683 to find out if they have a contest to vote for, who the candidates are, and where they go to cast their ballot.


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