NEW GLASGOW — A write-in program has become an option to encourage more Nova Scotians to vote.
Every returning office set up for the campaign has a write-in ballot team ready to go where the voters are to exercise their franchise. The write-in ballot service is also practised at hospitals.
Returning officer Lorne Smith noted that the service was first offered during the 2013 provincial election.
“I think it’s a very significant service,” he said. “It’s offering another way for voters to exercise their right. I think it’s important that we do everything we can to facilitate that.”
Tabitha Coleman has been performing these duties while working at the Pictou Centre returning office in New Glasgow.
“The main goal is to accommodate voters and get more people voting,” she said. “We’re trying to encourage people with transportation and mobility issues to use this opportunity. There are various reasons for it. People may be recovering from surgery.”
The program started on May 8 and will be available through to Election Day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Votes are documented according to the constituency where people live. The Pictou Centre returning office permitted ballots to be cast by people in Pictou West and Pictou East before returning offices opened at the Municipality of Pictou County office in Pictou West and at the Eureka Fire Hall in Pictou East.
Voters, who are away due to work, vacation or other reasons and are Nova Scotia residents, can utilize the service by requesting a write-in ballot through the process of email.
Voters can also be from anywhere in the province and have their votes documented under another program out-of-district balloting.
Tabitha Coleman is ready to offer voters a write-in ballot option during the provincial election campaign. (Goodwin photo)