How to Vote

East Hants Council has approved the use of electronic voting (i.e. by telephone and internet) during the 2020 Municipal and CSAP Elections as well as in-person voting at polls on election day.

Telephone and online voting will begin at 8:00 am on October 9 and run 24 hours a day until the close of the polls on Election Day – Saturday, October 17th at 7:00 pm.

Voters who chose to vote in-person can cast paper ballots only on Election Day at their respective poll location.

Individual voter instruction letters will be mailed to each voter on the Amended Voters’ List in late September and will include a unique personal identification number (PIN). Full details on how to access the system are provided in the Voter Instruction Letter.

View sample voter information letter (pdf)

NOTE:  Pursuant to Section 82(1) of the Municipal Elections Act, an elector may vote once for Councillor (and once for CSAP if an entitled parent/person). It is an offence under BYLAW A-100-1 Alternative Voting Bylaw to do the following:

  • use another person’s PIN to vote or access the system;
  • take, seize, or deprive an elector of his or her PIN;
  • sell, gift, transfer, assign or purchase a PIN;
  • interfere or attempt to interfere with an elector who is casting an internet ballot or telephone ballot;
  • interfere or attempt to interfere with alternative voting;
  • attempt to ascertain the name of the candidate for whom an elector is about to vote or has voted; or
  • communicate or attempt to communicate any information relating to the candidate for whom an elector has voted.

If you have questions, please email election@easthants.ca or call 902-751-0588/toll-free at 1-833-434-0623. More information will be made available soon.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online and Telephone Voting

  • 1. Election
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  • 1. Who will get a Voter Instruction Letter (VIL) with a PIN to vote in the election?
     

    All qualified electors on the official Municipal Elector's List provided by the municipality.

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  • 2. What if my name is not on the Elector List?
     

    Eligible electors who are not on the official Elector List can call the Voter HelpLine for assistance. You may be required to sign an oath or provide identification in person or electronically. Once this is completed you will be given a Voter Information Letter by the Election Official.

    Voter HelpLine: 902-751-0588 or toll-free at 1-833-434-0623

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  • 3. When should I expect to receive my PIN in the mail?
     

    Individual PINs will be mailed to eligible electors so that they are received approximately three (3) to five (5) days prior to October 9 (the first voting day).

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  • 4. What if I don’t get a PIN in the mail?
     

    If you are an eligible elector and on the official Elector List, but you did not get a PIN in the mail, you can request a replacement PIN.

    If the Election Official’s records indicate you were sent a PIN in the mail then the original PIN will be disabled and cannot be used to cast a vote in the election. A replacement PIN will be issued to you if the original PIN has not been voted and you provide appropriate identification.

    Voter HelpLine: 902-751-0588 or toll-free at 1-833-434-0623

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  • 5. Why would I not get a PIN in the mail?
     

    If you didn’t get a PIN in the mail one of two things may have happened. First, your name was not on the official Elector List. PINs are only mailed to electors whose names appear on the Municipality’s official Elector List. Secondly, a PIN may have been mailed to you but the Municipality had the incorrect mailing address, or it has been delayed for some reason in the mail system.

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  • 6. Can anyone tell how I voted if they know my PIN?
     

    No. The system does not track how a particular PIN has voted, only that the PIN has been used to cast a vote.

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  • 7. Once I have my PIN, do I have to register in advance if I want to use either the telephone or the Internet to cast my vote?
     

    No, there is no registration required. During the election period, using your PIN, you can use either the telephone or the Internet to cast your vote.

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  • 8. What if I lose or misplace my PIN?
     

    If an elector loses or misplaces their PIN, they should contact the Voter HelpLine. The Election Official can decide to replace the missing PIN if it has not already been voted. In most cases your PIN can be replaced via electronic communication. In some circumstances you may be asked to travel to a specific location to sign a form. In both cases, the original lost or missing PIN will be disabled and it will not be able to be voted in the election.

    Voter HelpLine: 902-751-0588 or toll-free at 1-833-434-0623

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  • 9. How do I access the voting system?
     

    Voting instructions will be included in the Voter Instruction Letter mailed to each eligible elector on the official Elector List. Included in this information are instructions on how to access the voting system. Voters can cast their ballot using the telephone or cellphone by calling a toll-free number for the automated voting system. Voters using personal computers will use the internet to visit a website that will allow them entry into the voting system where they can cast their vote.

    Website and telephone information will be provided in the Voter Information Letter.

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  • 10. Once I enter my PIN and start my voting process do, I have to complete all ballots in one session?
     

    For example, what if I am interrupted and have to hang up the phone for some reason or, if I am voting using the Internet and have to leave my session?

    No, you do not have to vote all ballots at one time uninterrupted. You can disconnect from the Internet or the telephone and re-connect later, re-enter your PIN, and complete your voting activity at that time. In fact, if you find it more convenient, you can switch from one method to the other and complete your voting using the other method. For example, you can start your voting on the Internet and at some point, close your Internet session, and then later re-start the voting process and re-enter your PIN using your telephone or cell phone and complete your ballot.

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  • 11. What happens if I access the voting system and am presented with incorrect candidates for my district?
     

    The list of candidates presented to you as a voter is determined by your place of residence as defined on the Elector List. If you have moved and your new address was not updated on the Elector List, (and your Voter Instruction letter and PIN were forwarded to your new address), then you will see the list of candidates associated with your old place of residence. First, exit the system without voting the race with the incorrect candidates. You should call the Voter HelpLine and the Election Official will authenticate you and, if satisfied, can then electronically “re-categorize” the PIN. The correct list of candidates will be presented to you once you re-connect to the voting system.

    Voter HelpLine: 902-751-0588 or toll-free at 1-833-434-0623

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  • 12. What do I do if I am not sure if I completed a ballot?
     

    During the voting period you can connect to the voting system and enter your PIN. If you have yet to complete all ballots assigned to you, the system will begin where you left off. When you have completed voting all ballots assigned to you, entering your PIN online in the voting system during the voting period will display a message containing your vote status. This message will advise if you have completed voting. You can also contact the Voter HelpLine to get more information.

    Voter HelpLine: 902-751-0588 or toll-free at 1-833-434-0623

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  • 13. If I am using the telephone to vote, how will I know what number to press to vote for the candidate of my choice or what if I make a mistake and select a different candidate?
     

    The Voter Instruction letter mailed to you has the list of candidates included on it for your reference purpose. In addition, each time the automated system presents you with a voting option, it lists the eligible candidates running for that position and instructs you to select the corresponding number for that candidate. You may also clear your ballot selections and start over.

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  • 14. Once a vote has been confirmed, can it be changed?
     

    No. Once a vote has been confirmed it cannot be changed. This process is the same as dropping the ballot into the ballot box in a traditional paper-based election ensuring complete voter anonymity and secrecy of ballot. The system does not know how the ballot was voted; only that the PIN was used in the election to cast a vote and thus it cannot be removed from the vote count.

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  • 15. How do I vote if I am away from home, out of town, out of the province, or out of the country?
     

    You can vote during the election voting period using the Internet from anywhere in the world. You can also use telephone service and connect to the voting system toll free from anywhere in North America simply by dialing the toll-free number contained in your Voter Instruction letter.

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  • 16. What if I have a rotary telephone at home, no cell phone and don’t have a computer with Internet service. How can I vote?
     

    You do not have to vote from home. You can vote from any location using any telephone with touch tone service or from any computer. You can also vote in person at polling stations where the municipality is offering personal computing devices at these locations. The location of the polling stations can be found in the Voter Instruction letters sent to eligible electors.

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  • 17. If someone calls me and asks for my PIN, what should I do?
     

    You should treat your voting PIN with the same level of secrecy and confidentially you reserve for your bank card and PIN. Do not give your PIN to anyone who may call or approach you for the number.

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  • 18. What do I do if the phone line is busy when I call and try to vote?
     

    If the phone lines are busy, simply hang up and call back a short time later. The voting system is capable of handling a significant volume of calls simultaneously but there is always the possibility that many voters are attempting to call in the same time frame. Voters will be able to connect to the system over the course of a number of days during the voting period.

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  • 19. Could someone steal my PIN and vote with it?
     

    Stealing and opening another person’s mail is illegal. It is also illegal to represent yourself as another person and steal their right to vote in an election. Both these acts are illegal and have penalties defined by law. If you know someone has voted your PIN illegally, you should report it to the Election Official. You can obtain a replacement PIN to cast your vote by presenting yourself to the Election Official and swearing an affidavit that the PIN assigned to you was not voted by you but by someone else.

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  • 20. If I am a voter with a disability; deafness, blindness, or a mobility disability, can someone help me with the voting process?
     

    Electronic voting allows increased rights of privacy to voters with physical challenges that make traditional voting at polling stations more difficult. Blind voters can make use of the telephone and deaf voters can use the Internet to vote with little or no assistance required from others. If you need assistance at the polling station to cast your vote, the Election Official present will be able to assist you.

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  • 21. Would it be possible for me to be sent more than one PIN?
     

    If you received more than one PIN it is because your name appeared on the Elector List more than once. This rare situation might occur if you changed your place of residence and are on the list in both locations or you own property and are the registered resident at both locations. You are only permitted to vote once in a municipality and you should only cast a vote using the PIN associated with your primary place of residence. Notify the Election Official of the additional PIN and they will disable this PIN rendering it unusable for the election.

    Voter HelpLine: 902-751-0588 or toll-free at 1-833-434-0623

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