PLEASE NOTE: This Page is in the process of being updated for the 2020 Municipal Elections.
It's often easy to forget, but who you vote for locally can impact your life as much as voting for the next Prime Minister – in some ways, even more so!
Municipal elections in the Town of Yarmouth will decide who your Mayor and your Town Councillors will be. They will be the people who will make decisions about how your town is run, so it is important that you know when and how to exercise your right to vote (School Board Elections will only be for CSAP School Board members eligible to vote for the CSAP board).
Municipal elections are held in Yarmouth every four years, on the third Saturday in October of a given election year. Advance polls are also held – the returning officer will ensure notice of advance poll specifics will be published in a newspaper circulating in the municipality.
Voters may choose to vote electronically via internet or telephone voting methods. Disabled persons or persons incapable of voting without assistance can also exercise their democratic muscle with the help of a friend voter who votes on their behalf. You can learn more in our Elections By-Law – and watch for notices on our website about upcoming elections.
ELECTRONIC VOTING DEMO (REFER TO DEMO # 4)
Qualifications of Elector for the 2020 Municipal Election
Subject to the other provisions of the Municipal Elections Act, every person who
(a) is of the full age of eighteen years on the first advance polling day (October 8);
(b) is a Canadian citizen on the first advance polling day (October 8);
(c) has been ordinarily resident in the Nova Scotia for a period of six months immediately preceding the first advance polling day (since April 8); and
(d) is ordinarily resident in the Town of Yarmouth and has been so since immediately before the first advance polling day (October 8),
is entitled to be registered on the list of electors and to vote.
If you are eligible, please make sure you are on the list, and vote.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who will get a Voter Instruction Letter with a PIN to vote in the election?
A. All qualified electors on the official Municipal Elector's List provided by the municipality.
2. What if my name is not on the Elector List?
A. Eligible electors who are not on the official Elector List will have to go to a location designated by the Election Official and complete the required form to have their name added to the Elector List. Once this is completed, you will be given a PIN by the Election Official. The lntelivote system has the ability to provide enumeration, which includes producing the required legal documentation.
For details on how to check to see if you name appears on the List of Electors, CLICK HERE.
3. When should I expect to receive my PIN in the mail?
A. Individual PINs will be mailed to eligible electors so that they are received approximately three (3) to five (5) days prior to the first voting day.
4. What if I don't get a PIN in the mail by Election Day?
A. If you are an eligible elector and on the official Elector List, but you did not get a PIN in the mail by the start of the election period, you can request a replacement PIN. If the Election Official's records indicate you were sent a PIN in the mail, then the original PIN will be disabled and cannot be used to cast a vote in the election. A replacement PIN will be issued to you if the original PIN has not been voted and you provide appropriate identification.
5. Why would I not get a PIN in the mail?
A. If you didn't get a PIN in the mail, one of two things may have happened. First, your name was not on the official Elector List. PINS are only mailed to electors whose names appear on the official Elector List as supplied by the municipality. Secondly, a PIN may have been mailed to you and it has been delayed for some reason in the mail system.
6. Can anyone tell how I voted if they know my PIN?
A. No. The system does not track how a particular PIN has voted, only that the PIN has been used to cast a vote.
7. Once I have my PIN, do I have to register in advance if I want to use either the telephone or the Internet to cast my vote?
A. No. There is no registration required. During the election period, using your PIN, you can use either the telephone or the Internet to cast your vote.
8. What if I lose or misplace my PIN?
A. If an elector loses or misplaces their PIN, they should contact the Voter Help Line. The Election Official can decide to replace the missing PIN if it has not already been voted. They will determine if a voter has to travel to a location, sign a form, and then replace the missing PIN, or they can decide to allow the Voter Help Line agent to authenticate the caller and issue a replacement PIN over the phone. In both cases, the original lost or missing PIN will be disabled, and it will not be able to be voted in the election.
9. How do I access the voting system?
A. Voting instructions will be included in the Voter Instruction Letter mailed to each eligible elector on the official Elector List. Included in this Information are instructions on how to access the voting system. Voters can cast their ballot using the telephone or cell phone by calling a toll free number. Voters using personal computers will use the Internet to visit a website that will allow them entry into the voting system where they can cast their vote.
10. 0nce I enter my PIN and start my voting process, do I have to complete all the races on the ballot in one session? For example, what if I am interrupted and have to hang up the phone for some reason, or if I am voting using the Internet and have to leave my session?
A. No. You do not have to vote all the races on your ballot at one time uninterrupted. You can disconnect from the Internet or the telephone and reconnect later, re-enter your PIN, and complete your voting activity at that time. In fact, if you find it more convenient, you can switch from one method to the other and complete your voting using the other method. For example, you can start your voting on the Internet and at some point close your Internet session, and then later restart the voting process and re-enter your PIN using your phone or cell phone and complete your ballot.
11. What happens if I access the voting system and am presented with incorrect candidates for my district?
A. The list of candidates presented to you as a voter is determined by your place of residence as defined on the Elector List. If you have moved and your new address was not updated on the Elector List, (and your Voter Instruction Letter and PIN were forwarded to your new address), then you will see the list of candidates associated with your old place of residence. You should call the Voter Help Line and the Election Official will authenticate you and, if satisfied, can then electronically "re-categorize the PIN. The correct list of candidates will be presented to you once you reconnect to the voting system.
12. What do I do if I am not sure if I completed a race or the ballot?
A. During the voting period, you can connect to the voting system and enter your PIN. If you have yet to complete all ballots assigned to you, the system will begin where you left off - at the next race you are eligible to complete. When you have completed voting all ballots assigned to you, entering your PIN online in the voting system during the voting period will display a message containing your vote status. This message will advise if you have completed voting. You can also contact the Voter Help Line to get more information.
13. lf I am using the telephone to vote, how will I know what number to press to vote for the candidate of my choice or what if I make a mistake and select a different candidate than the one I want to vote for?
A. The Voter Instruction Letter mailed to you has the list of candidates included on it for your reference purpose. In addition, each time the system presents you with a race to vote for, it lists the eligible candidates running for that position and instructs you to select the corresponding number for that candidate.
"To select Jane Doe – Press 1”
"To select Fred Dunn – Press 2”
"To select Joe Howe – Press 3”
Once you enter the corresponding number, the system will verify your selection with a statement, and ask you to confirm your selection.
"You have selected Joe Howe. To confirm this selection, press the number sign (#) key now...or to change your selection, press zero (0) now.”
If you want to change your selection, you would press zero (0) and make your change at this time. It is only after you have confirmed your selection with the number sign key (#) that your vote for that candidate will be "dropped into the ballot box." You will get a confirmation message once your vote has been deposited in the virtual ballot box.
"Your selection has been recorded for Joe Howe.”
14. Once a vote has been confirmed, can it be changed?
A. No. Once a vote has been confirmed, it cannot be changed. This process is the same as dropping the ballot into the ballot box in a traditional paper-based election ensuring complete voter anonymity and secrecy of ballot. The system does not know how the ballot was voted, only that the PIN was used in the election to cast a vote and thus, it cannot be removed from the vote count.
15. How do I vote if I am away from home, out of town, out of the province, or out of the country?
A. You can vote during the election voting period using the Internet from anywhere in the world. You can also use telephone service and connect to the voting system toll free from anywhere in North America simply by dialing the toll free number contained in your Voter Instruction Letter.
16. What if I have a rotary phone at home, no cell phone and do not have a computer with Internet service. How can I vote?
A. You do not have to vote from home. You can vote from any location using any phone with touch tone service or from any computer. You can also vote in person at the Returning Office located on the basement level of the Yarmouth Town Hall, 400 Main Street, entrance through the rear door off the parking lot. The Returning Office is wheelchair accessible.
17. lf someone calls me and asks for my PIN, what should I do?
A. You should treat your voting PIN with the same level of secrecy and confidentiality you reserve for your bank card and PIN. Do not give your PIN to anyone who may call or approach you for the number.
18. What do I do if the phone line is busy when I call and try to vote?
A. If the phone lines are busy, simply hang up and call back a short time later. The voting system is capable of handling a significant volume of calls simultaneously but there is always the possibility that many voters are attempting to call in the same time frame. Voters will be able to connect to the system over the course of a number of days during the voting period.
19. Could someone steal my PIN and vote it?
A. Stealing and opening another person's mail is illegal. It is also illegal to represent yourself as another person and steal their right to vote in an election. Both these acts are illegal and have penalties defined by law. If you know someone has voted your PIN illegally, you should report it to the Election Official. You can obtain a replacement PIN to cast your vote by presenting yourself to the Election Official and swearing an affidavit that the PIN assigned to you was not voted by you but by someone else.
20. lf I am a voter with a disability - deafness, blindness or a mobility disability, can someone help me with the voting process?
A. Electronic voting allows increased rights of privacy to voters with physical challenges that make traditional voting at polling stations more difficult. Blind voters can make use of the telephone and deaf voters can use the Internet to vote with little or no assistance required from others. If you need assistance at the polling station to cast your vote, the Election Official present will be able to assist you.
21. Would it be possible for me to be sent more than one PIN?
A. If you received more than one PIN, it is because your name appeared on the Elector List more than once. This rare situation might occur if you changed your place of residence and have been enumerated in both locations or you own property and are the registered resident at both locations. You are only permitted to vote once in a municipality, and you should only cast a vote using the PIN associated with your primary place of residence. Notify the Election Official of the additional PIN, and they will disable this PIN, rendering it unusable for the election.