New Brunswick is preparing for its municipal election, scheduled for May 10, 2021.
Kim Poffenroth, New Brunswick Chief Electoral Officer, explained that the voting process will look very similar to the provincial election that took place in September 2020.
“We’ve maintained all the same protections in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Poffenroth. “All of the same voting options will be available, and we are once again encouraging people to vote early.”
Advanced voting will take place on May 1 and 3, and individuals can apply for a mail-in ballot anytime after March 22. Write-in ballots will not be accepted for this election, due to its complexity.
“People cannot actually vote at a returning office, or receive their mail-in ballot until after the printed ballots are available, which we anticipate should be by April 19,” said Poffenroth.
Those that voted in the 2020 provincial election will already be considered a registered voter, and need to only bring themselves, unless their address has changed. For those that are not registered, Poffenroth advised that they will need to bring identification or documents that have their name, civic address, and signature, such as a driver's license.
“I know in the case of students, the address on the driver’s license might not be the address where they are actually living,” said Poffenroth, recommending that students bring a utility bill to show their current address.
Nominations close on April 9, and Poffenroth explained that Elections NB has provided resources for candidates so that they understand what they are permitted to do during the campaign period, and that they are adhering to COVID-19 guidelines. Individuals can visit the Elections NB website to learn more about which ward they reside in, and which candidates represent that ward.
Poffenroth encourages students to vote in the upcoming election, and to run if they are interested.
“I think young people, students, have an additional perspective that they should be willing to share with their communities,” said Poffenroth.