Elections Nova Scotia

By-election Pending in Preston

Elections Nova Scotia is preparing to deliver a by-election in the electoral district of Preston. The previous Member of the House of Assembly for Preston resigned effective April 1, 2023. According to the House of Assembly Act, a writ must be issued for a by-election six months from the date the vacancy occurred.

Preparing for the Preston By-election

Eligible voters in the electoral district of Preston can prepare for the up-coming by-election by ensuring they are registered to vote, understanding their voting options, and learning about their electoral district.

Who Can Vote in the Preston By-election

To be eligible to vote in the up-coming Preston by-election, you must be a Canadian citizen, 18 years or over, reside in the electoral district of Preston, and have lived in Nova Scotia at least six months by the date the by-election is called.

Get Registered for the Preston By-election

Elections Nova Scotia maintains a register of anyone eligible to vote in a Nova Scotia provincial general election or by-election. The Register is updated regularly and there are several ways to be added to the list. Though being registered before arriving at a voting location is not required, those who are registered when the by-election is called will be sent a personalized Voter Information Card (VIC) with information on where and when to vote. Click here for more information on how to register to vote.

First Time Voters – Get Registered!

To prepare for the by-election, Elections Nova Scotia encourages first time voters in the electoral district of Preston to register early. Even though a by-election has not yet been called, voters can register any time on-line to ensure they are on the Nova Scotia Registry of Electors.

New voters include young adults 18 years of age or older, new Canadian citizens, or voters who have moved to Nova Scotia and have not yet voted in a provincial election.

Click here for more information on how to register to vote.

E-balloting for Early Votes in the Preston By-election

The Preston by-election will be the first opportunity for voters to cast their ballot using Elections Nova Scotia’s new e-balloting system. In fact, the Preston by-election will be the first use of e-balloting in Canada.

E-balloting will be used for early voting in the Preston by-election following the close of candidate nominations. Before the close of candidate nominations, the write-in ballot format will be used for early voting at the returning office.

The e-balloting system is safe and allows voters to select the candidate of their choice on a tablet behind the voting screen. Once a vote is cast, the e-ballot system produces a paper voting receipt for the voter to place in the ballot box.

E-balloting allows fast and secure counting of early votes when the polls close on election night. This means the results of the Preston by-election will be returned quickly and efficiently.

Traditional paper ballots will be used for voting on election day. E-balloting will only be offered during early voting prior to election day in Preston.

The Government of Nova Scotia made amendments to the Elections Act in 2021 to provide authority for e-balloting. Elections Nova Scotia has developed the secure e-balloting system and is confident in the integrity of this innovative voting method.

Will There be Internet Voting in the Preston By-election?

E-balloting is not internet voting. Both are electronic forms of voting, but e-balloting takes place at a voting location on a secure tablet while internet voting facilitates remote voting using the internet. The Government of Nova Scotia made amendments to the Elections Act in 2021 to permit the use of internet voting, initially by those who are members of the Canadian Armed Forces stationed outside the province during an election event. Elections Nova Scotia is planning to use internet voting for members of the Canadian Armed Forces stationed outside the province in the 2025 provincial general election. Internet voting will not be available during the Preston by-election.

Know Your Electoral District

Prior to a by-election is a good time to confirm information about your electoral district. Elections Nova Scotia provides a variety of electoral district information on this website. Residents of the Preston are encouraged to use the following links to connect with information and maps of their district.

Click here to view a detailed electoral profile profiles, which include census data and past voting information. Select the electoral district of Preston (ED 44).

Click here to view the electoral district maps and select the map for Preston (ED 44).

Registered Candidates

Before a by-election is called, individuals who intend to run as candidates may register with Elections Nova Scotia. This allows the candidate to accept contributions and incur expenses prior to a writ of election being issued. After the writ is issued candidates must complete official nominations forms to have their name added to the ballot for the by-election.

The following candidate(s) are registered for the Preston by-election (candidate names will be added as registrations are received):

  • Carlo Simmons – Liberal
  • Charles Taylor – Nova Scotians United

Election Signage and Third-Party Advertising

Prior to a by-election is a good time to learn about requirements for election-related signs, and other forms of election advertising.

The Elections Act does not restrict campaign signs and election advertising prior to the writ period. Candidates may campaign through door-to-door or public events anytime, and signs may be erected, provided they meet municipal bylaws or provincial transportation regulations. Please note, access to multi-unit buildings is restricted to the writ period according (for more information, please see the access to multi-unit buildings section below).

Areas along highways, including some within municipalities, are managed by the provincial Department of Public Works. People who have questions about signs along highways may call a toll-free number 1-844-696-7737 or email tir-occ@novascotia.ca.

Once the writ of election is issued for the Preston by-election, the Elections Act requires an authorization statement on all signs and advertising, including print, broadcast and online. The statement must be legible and state, “Authorized by the Official Agent for (name of candidate, registered party, individual, organization).”

During the up-coming Preston by-election, third party advertising will also be regulated. Third party advertising rules require that the third party identifies itself and it has authorized the advertising. There are limits to how much money can be spent by third parties during the election. According to the Elections Act, a third party is an individual or group that is not a candidate, registered political party, or registered electoral district association. A third-party election advertisement is a message that promotes or opposes a registered political party, the election of a certain candidate, or a candidate’s position on an issue within the election period.

Click here for more information about election advertising.

Campaign Access to Multi-unit Buildings

Prior to the Preston by-election, Elections Nova Scotia would like to remind landlords and administrators of multi-unit buildings and condominiums in the electoral district of Preston that enumerators and candidates must be given access during a by-election.

It is an offence under the Elections Act to impede a candidate when lawfully campaigning or an enumerator when gathering information for the Register of Electors during a by-election.

Elections Nova Scotia has a policy on campaign access to multi-unit buildings to help provide clarity and understanding for landlords, tenants, and candidates.

Click here to view the Campaign Access to Multi-unit Buildings Policy.

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