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Voters Advised to Expect Long Delays at Polls
(Wednesday, October 13/04)--
Eligible voters planning to vote in Saturday’s municipal election
are advised to anticipate longer line-ups at polling stations, due
to the unprecedented turnout for the provincial government’s
plebiscite on Sunday shopping which is overtaxing available resources.
The Province has ordered that its Sunday shopping plebiscite be held in conjunction with this year’s municipal elections throughout Nova Scotia on October 16. However, the Province did not advance any funds for the additional work required, and municipalities have still not been advised how much, if anything, the Province will compensate them for conducting its plebiscite. As a result, no additional staff could be hired.
Approximately six (6%) per cent of the 258,396 eligible voters in HRM turned out so far to vote in Advance Polls last Saturday and on Tuesday. At the Advance Poll on Saturday, 6,523 persons registered to vote. That number was more than the 6,151 who turned out to vote in Advance Polls on two separate days during the 2000 municipal election. At the Advance Poll yesterday, 9,065 persons voted, bringing the total so far to 15,588.
Polling stations throughout HRM are reporting large voter turnouts for the Sunday shopping plebiscite. Many voters who were only qualified to vote in the plebiscite (that is, they have been resident in Nova Scotia for three months) have turned out to vote on the shopping issue, and they have had to be sworn in and added to the voter list. This has resulted in long delays at most polling stations.
Only those persons who have resided in Halifax Regional Municipality for three months prior to the election are eligible to vote for Mayor, Councillors and members of the Halifax Regional School Board, as well as the provincial plebiscite.
Regular Polling day will be held this Saturday, October 16 from 8:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m.
HRM advises that specific questions about Sunday shopping and the provincial plebiscite should be directed to the Nova Scotia Department of Justice at 424-6282 or visit its website at www.gov.ns.ca/just
Inquiries may also be directed to Service Nova Scotia at 424-5200 or 1-800-670-4357.
Corporate Communications officer