Nova Scotia

And they're off! Nominations open for CBRM mayor and council

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way nominations for the election of Cape Breton Regional Municipality mayor and council are handled.

Nominated candidates for October election will be posted daily on municipal website as they are approved

Campbell says CBRM is not expected to get an automatic boost in tax revenues next year because the assessment cap is tied to inflation and the rate is currently below zero. (Tom Ayers/CBC)

Nominations for the election of Cape Breton Regional Municipality mayor and council officially open today, but the usual process has changed, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Candidates used to be able to just drop in to the returning office and drop off their paperwork, but it's all appointment-only now, and candidates also have to wear a mask as they attend the appointment," said Christina Lamey, CBRM communications adviser.

Also new this election: candidate names — and photos, if they wish — will be posted daily on the municipality's website after they get approved by the returning officer.

"There's a link right on the front of CBRM's website called Election 2020 and in there is all the election information," Lamey said.

"There's information for candidates, information for voters, the portal to check if you're on the voters list. It's all in there and the list of nominated candidates will appear there as well."

Nominations are also open for other municipalities across the province starting today.

In CBRM, staff will post online the list of nominated candidates daily until Sept. 8.

Some names already posted

Candidates can withdraw up to Sept. 8. After that, all names authorized by the returning officer will appear on the ballot.

Some candidates were listed on CBRM's website before nominations opened because they filed paperwork to name an official agent and that form includes a box they can check to allow their name to be posted as a declared — but not nominated — candidate with an official agent, said Lamey.

The municipality recommends candidates get an official agent and must open a separate bank account for their campaign if accepting contributions. A candidate can act as their own official agent, she said.

CBRM also recommends voters check the website to ensure their name and address are correct on the voters list.

Because council opted this year for electronic voting, by telephone or internet only, voters will be mailed a personal identification number in late September.

If they don't get one by early October or it goes to the wrong address, voters will have to go through the process of being added to the voters list manually, said Lamey.

"It's much easier at this earlier stage to just go and check online, fill in your name, date of birth, and see if your information is correct in the system," she said.

CBRM communications adviser Christina Lamey says it's important to get on the voters list early, especially those who just turned 18 and have never been enumerated or put on a voters list. (Tom Ayers/CBC)

That's important for anyone who just turned 18 this year and has never been enumerated and never put on a voters list, Lamey said.

The website lists a phone number to call if someone is not on the voters list or if their information is incorrect.

Election day this year is Saturday, Oct. 17, but with electronic voting, the polls open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, and are open 24 hours a day until 7 p.m. on Oct. 17.

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About the Author

Tom Ayers

Reporter/Editor

Tom Ayers has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years. He has spent the last 16 years covering Cape Breton and Nova Scotia stories. You can reach him at tom.ayers@cbc.ca.

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