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Nova Scotia votes

On Tuesday May 30, 2017 Nova Scotians will vote in a provincial election.  How old do you have to be to vote in Nova Scotia? Do you have to be a Canadian citizen to vote? How do you get on the voters list? Where do you vote? What law governs elections in Nova Scotia? Can you vote if you're not in Nova Scotia on Election Day? Can you get time off work to vote?

The rules for provincial elections are found in Nova Scotia’'s Elections Act

You have the right to vote in a Nova Scotia election if you:

  • are a Canadian citizen
  • are at least 18 years old on election day; and
  • have lived in Nova Scotia for at least 6 months as of April 30, 2017.

If you have questions about whether you are eligible to vote you should contact Elections Nova Scotia (see the contact information at the bottom of this page).

If you are already on the voters list (‘List of Electors’) you should get a Voter Information Card in the mail telling you where, when and how you can vote.  If you want to check whether you are on the voters list, or want to get on the voters list, contact Elections Nova Scotia or your electoral district’s returning officer.  Click here to find your electoral district.   You will need to provide identification in order to get your name on the voters list. (What ID will I need? Click here to find out).

There are several ways to vote in the election, including: 

  • Advance poll
  • Write-in ballot
  • Ordinary poll on May 30 (Election Day)
  • Click here for information about other ways to vote.

Advance polls are held for Nova Scotians who will be away on Election Day.  Advance polls for the upcoming election are from Saturday May 20 to Saturday 27 (closed Sundays), and the polls are open from 9 am to 6 pm (8 pm on Thursday & Friday).  Contact your local returning office to find out where advance polls will be held in your district.

If you cannot vote at an Advance poll or on Election Day, you may also vote at a Continuous poll.  The Continuous poll is at a local returning office in your electoral district, and is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm (to 8 pm May 25 & 26), expect Sundays.  Contact your local returning office for further information.

You can vote by Write-in ballot for a variety of reasons – for example, because you are ill or disabled, you will be away from Nova Scotia on Election Day, you are in hospital, you are a student, or you are temporarily living outside Nova Scotia.   In some cases write-in ballot teams will visit locations, such as your home, shelters or long-term care facilities, to assist in voting by write-in ballot.  Contact your local returning office for information about applying to vote by write-in ballot.

Finally, you can vote at your polling station on Election Day, Tuesday May 30, from 8 am to 8 pm.  The Elections Act says that most employees are entitled to 3 consecutive hours while the polls are open in order to vote.  You should speak with your employer if you need time off work to vote, as it must be taken at a time that is convenient for your employer.

For more information contact Elections Nova Scotia at:
(902) 424-8584 or 1 800 565-1504 (toll free);
TTY: 424-7475 or toll-free TTY: 1 866 774-7074;
or visit electionsnovascotia.ca/

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