Elections Nova Scotia

Elections Nova Scotia marks 100th anniversary of right to vote for women

Release date: 
April 26, 2018

Elections Nova Scotia marks 100th anniversary of right to vote for women

April 26, 2018

On this day in 1918, the Nova Scotia House of Assembly passed the Nova Scotia Franchise Act, which added women to the list of people eligible to vote in provincial elections, 160 years almost to the day after protestant male landowners were first given the right to vote.  

Although there were times when women may have been able to vote as a proxy of their husband while he was away at war, the passing of this law was a great victory for women. Women who wished to vote were expected to meet the same criteria as men of the time; they had to own property, be a Canadian citizen and be at least 21 years of age. 

A glance at the historic record of elections in this province shows that the number of people voting rose at least 50% in the next general election of 1920. 

Chief Electoral Officer Richard Temporale hosted the Quality-Service-Value Awards(QSV) today to mark the 100th anniversary of this historic event. The awards are offered annually in formal recognition of initiative and support of the goals and values of ENS as outlined in in its annual reports available online. Recipients are nominated by ENS staff or as the result of a letter of commendation from a stakeholder. The Honourable Kevin Murphy, Speaker of the House of Assembly, attended the event and assisted the CEO in presenting awards to twelve recipients.

"Though it is coincidence, it is worth observing that nine of the twelve QSV Awards given today were to women.", says CEO Richard Temporale, "This emphasizes for me, that women have equal rights to vote at the polls as men – and they are participating at an equitable level in the administration of elections."


Photo (left to right): Honourable Kevin Murphy, CEO Richard Temporale, with QSV Award recipients Linda Fares, Debbie Kavanaugh, Robert Little (brother of Sandra Little, deceased), Vicky O'Halloran, Hansley Wang, Lindsay Rodenkirchen, and Pierre Gareau. Award recipients not in photo: Chris MacInnes, Eileen Pelham, Cynthia Simpson, JoAnn Shanahan, and Nicole Latour

More about the history of the vote in Nova Scotia is available on the House of Assembly website: https://nslegislature.ca/about/history/women-in-nova-scotia-politics and https://nslegislature.ca/about/history/history-voting-nova-scotia

More information on the results of past elections is available on the ENS website: https://www.electionsnovascotia.ca/election-data/past-results

ENS Annual Reports, which include its vision, mission and goals are also online: https://www.electionsnovascotia.ca/Annual-Reports



Media Contact:   Andy LeBlanc
                           Director, Policy and Communications
                           Elections Nova Scotia

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