Elections Nova Scotia

Sample Nova Scotia Election Calendar

In Nova Scotia an election can be requested at any time by the Premier.


    A general election is called

    The Governor in Council considers the Premier’s request and passes an Order in Council. This fixes the date of the writ and the date of the election and the Chief Electoral Officer issues a separate writ for each of the 55 electoral districts. Once called, the rules set out in the Elections Act govern the dates and times for each step during the election. Here is a sample election calendar:

  • Election Period

    The election period, not less than 30 days from the date of the writ to election day, typically covers 34 to 36 days.

    Election day always occurs on a Tuesday in Nova Scotia. In the Elections Nova Scotia elections calendar, election day is Day 0.


    Day 30 – Day 25

    Within five days of the date of the issuance of the writ, all returning officers will have received instructions to run an election in their electoral district and must have issued and posted a Notice of Election in their office. Notices will also be published publicly.


    Day 25 – Day  3 (Except Sundays)

    Electors may choose any one of many opportunities to vote any day of the week except Sunday between the hours of 9:00am and 6:00pm as soon as the Notice of Election is posted in the returning office. They may choose to vote in person in their returning office or at any returning office or community poll in the Province, or they may choose to apply to vote by write-in ballot in their place of residence, by mail, by agent or by write-in ballot coordinator.


    Day 10 – Day 3 (Saturday and Monday to Saturday before the election day)

    Electors may choose to vote at any advance poll in the province between the hours of 9:00am and 6:00pm (or until 8:00pm on Thursday and Friday).


    Day 1 (Monday)

    Final day of preparation before election day. Nova Scotia elections have been held on Tuesdays by law since the early 1960s. Federal elections are held on Mondays and this day was considered for Nova Scotia; but many holidays occur on a Monday. This extra day allows Nova Scotians to take advantage of their holiday Monday when one occurs. If there is no Monday holiday, it is an extra day of preparation for the candidates, recognized parties, and election officers.

    On this day, electors may choose to vote at the returning office in their own electoral district.


    Election Day

    Polls are open from 8:00am to 8:00pm. After the polls close, election officers count the ballots and phone in the unofficial results to their returning office, who in turn, inform the Chief Electoral Officer. The media report the unofficial results to the general public.


    Day Minus 2 – Official Addition

    On the Thursday morning after election day, in the presence of the candidates or their representatives, each returning officer reviews the results reported by each deputy returning officer and compiles the elections results. The Official Addition is then delivered to the Chief Electoral Officer.


    Day Minus 10 – Return of the Writ

    If no application for a recount has been filed, each returning officer returns the writ of election the Chief Electoral officer.

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