Municipal associations praise sector for advancing safe and accessible elections

For Immediate Release
July 15, 2021

St. John’s, NL — Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) and the Professional Municipal Administrators (PMA) are praising actions in the municipal sector to advance safe and accessible elections in our province. As many as 17 municipalities – large and small – will offer a vote by mail option to voters alongside in-person voting in the September 28 municipal elections.

Following the winter provincial election, MNL and PMA joined together to ensure municipalities were aware that they could offer a vote by mail option. The Municipal Elections Act lays out a formal process for municipalities to request ministerial approval and submit regulations outlining local mail-in voting procedures.

In April, MNL and PMA launched a safe and accessible municipal election campaign with supports for members, including template letters, regulations, and instructions, as well as a series of webinars. The last of the webinars focused on accessibility and inclusion during elections. It featured representatives from the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities, the Office of the Seniors’ Advocate, the Association for New Canadians, Stella’s Circle, and Memorial University.

MNL and PMA will continue to support municipalities leading up to and following voting day.

“Seventeen municipalities, representing 46% of the population in this province, are planning to provide alternative voting methods to residents. Until this year, only the City of St. John’s used the vote by mail option. It is an incredible increase. What is more important is that our sector is having conversations around council tables about accessibility. It demonstrates the willingness and desire for councils across the province to support change in their communities, and most importantly, to support democracy.” Craig Pollett, MNL CEO

“Our municipal administrators are at the heart of ensuring that elections run smoothly in our communities. We commend them for advancing the changes to their municipal elections processes by moving to introduce the vote by mail option. Increasing the availability of accessible options for residents to vote is a positive move forward for our sector, and one that will undoubtedly lead to increased citizen engagement.” Brian Hudson, PMA President

Webinars and other election information are available online