Elections Nova Scotia Glossary of Terms
Electors may choose to vote at any advance poll in the province. Advance polls are held for seven days from Saturday to Saturday (excluding Sunday) immediately before the election day. Advance Poll hours are 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and are open to 8:00 pm on Thursday and Friday.
An election held in a single electoral district to fill a vacancy in the House of Assembly.
A person who is running to be elected in an electoral district. Candidates can be independent or represent a registered political party.
Chief Electoral Officer
This is the head person at Elections Nova Scotia. The Chief Electoral Officer has the responsibility for ensuring all elections are fair and impartial and are conducted in accordance with the various acts that regulate elections.
Persons ordinarily resident in Nova Scotia may donate (contribute) a maximum of $5,000 annually to a registered party and all candidates and electoral district associations of that registered party. Corporations, unions and partnerships may not make political contributions in Nova Scotia.
Deputy Returning Officer
The Returning Officer for each electoral district will appoint a Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) to administer the Returning Officer's duties at the Advance Poll or each polling station on election day.
Someone who is eligible to vote.
Nova Scotia is divided into 51 electoral districts, sometimes also called constituencies.
List of Electors
Also called the voters list. This is a list of all those people who are qualified to vote and have registered to vote in an electoral district. The List is sorted by polling division.
The process of preparing or updating the List of Electors for an upcoming election. This process includes going door-to-door, particularly in areas of high mobility and new residential areas, to ensure every person eligible to vote is on the List.
Member of the Legislative Assembly. A person elected in his or her electoral district to a seat in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly.
A document that must be filed with the Returning Officer before a person can run as a candidate in an election. The deadline for filing is 2:00 pm on the 20th day before election day.
This count of the ballots is performed by the Returning Officer in the presence of the Election Clerk, and the candidates or their agents. After this count, the Returning Officer declares which candidate is elected.
Order in Council
the passing of this order starts the election process.
This is where you live. This address will determine your electoral district and polling station where you vote. Also known as your Civic Address.
A vote on one specific issue or question.
Electoral districts are subdivided into polling divisions. Each polling division usually includes 250-450 electors.
These are the sites where the ballot boxes are set up so you can cast your vote.
This is the first count taken of the ballots as soon as the polls close. The count is performed by the Deputy Returning Officer in front of those persons entitled to witness the count. The results are then telephoned to the Returning Officer. These results are considered unofficial until the Official Addition.
The leader of the registered political party that wins the most seats in a general election.
Candidates who receive a minimum of 10 per cent of the vote are eligible for partial reimbursement of their election expenses. Each candidate’s nomination deposit will be returned if the candidate files an audited (if the election expenses are greater than $500) report of election expenses before the deadline and destroys all list of elector information. A subsidy is available for audit fees paid by a candidate.
The chief electoral officer appoints one Returning Officer for each of the 51 electoral districts in Nova Scotia after a merit-based competition. The Returning Officer is normally appointed for ten years and is responsible for the conduct of elections in their electoral district.
The scrutineer represents a candidate at the polling station and observes the voting and the counting of ballots.
A ballot must be marked in a certain way to count in Nova Scotia. Ballots that have an X, check mark, or line beside more than one candidate, are not clear as to which candidate has been chosen, or are defaced in any other way are considered spoiled and are not counted.
An elector who has voted.
Voter Information Card
The card sent to each elector on the List of Electors explaining where to vote and giving information on voting opportunities.
A writ is a written command in the name of the government. When referring to elections, the writ means the command to hold an election. The date of the writ is the date the election was called.
This blank ballot and series of envelopes design to protect the secrecy of the vote allows you to cast your vote before the Advance Poll. A Write-in Ballot can be completed in the returning office, at a campus or community poll, at home, mailed in or returned in person or by your agent. You must apply to vote by Write-in Ballot and, once you have done so, you must complete your vote using this ballot.