North

N.W.T. election to have advance polls in every community

The territory's chief electoral officer says changes made to the N.W.T. Elections Act since the last territorial election should make it easier and more convenient to vote this November.

Workers at Diavik Diamond Mine will be able to vote onsite

The territory's chief electoral officer says changes made to the N.W.T. Elections Act since the last territorial election should make it easier and more convenient to vote this November.

In the 2011 election, less than half of the territory's eligible voters cast a ballot. 

Nicole Latour, chief electoral officer of the N.W.T., says she hopes the changes will help bring that number up.

"One of the primary focuses of this office is to remove barriers, to make it easier, whether it's for a candidate or whether it's in a poll or getting ballots in people's hands, it was about looking at the process to make sure it was available and it was easy."

For the first time in an N.W.T. territorial election, advance polls will be held in every community. Before, only communities with more than 500 people had one.

Other changes include the introduction of voting by "acquaintance" at advance polls. That means if the elections officer knows you, he or she can give you a ballot even if you don't have the necessary ID.

Workers at the Diavik Diamond Mine will be able to cast a ballot in the territorial election while away at camp, as Elections NWT officers will hold a multi-district polling station there for the first time.

There will also be more Elections NWT staff across the territory. For the 24 communities without a resident returning officer, a deputy will be appointed who will be able to accept nomination papers and hold advance polls.

The N.W.T. territorial election will be held Nov. 23.

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