Elections Nova Scotia

Voters can Cast their Votes Early Using E-balloting in the Preston By-election

Release date: 
April 26, 2023

Media Release: Wednesday April 26, 2023

Elections Nova Scotia – 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.

The Preston by-election will be the first opportunity for voters to cast their ballot using Elections Nova Scotia’s new e-balloting system. E-balloting will be used for early voting in the Preston by-election. Votes cast before election day at early voting locations will be done on secure tablets.

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 the Preston by-election.

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. The Preston by-election will be the first use of e-balloting in Canada.

E-balloting is not internet voting. Both are electronic forms of voting, but e-balloting takes place in-person at a voting location on a secure tablet while internet voting facilitates remote voting using the internet. In February 2023, Elections Nova Scotia Elections awarded a contract to Scytl Canada Inc. to develop an internet voting solution. 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 electoral 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.

Elections Nova Scotia is a non-partisan and independent agency responsible for conducting provincial elections. For more information, please visit electionsnovascotia.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @electionsns.

Media Contact:

Naomi Shelton
Director, Policy and Communications
Elections Nova Scotia

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