Municipal Elections

MNL and PMA are working together to provide support to municipalities so they may carry out safe municipal elections during COVID-19. Read the release.


We are working on additional supports and will continue to update this website as well as inform members through emails including MNL’s weekly infoNOTE.

Getting ready to Vote by Mail (VBM)

Steps – Timeline – Checklist
ASAP → A decision must be made by Council to request the option of vote by mail (VBM). Municipal Elections Act (MEA) Sec. 54(1)
ASAP → Following Council decision, send a letter to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs requesting approval to authorize VBM.
ASAPDownload Template Request Letter.
April 29Watch on-demand: An Introduction to Vote By Mail
DISCLAIMER: There is no provision in the Municipal Elections Act that would allow a municipality to close their polls before 8 p.m. on Election Day. Ballot counting may only commence after voting officially ends at 8 p.m., and the returning officer or deputy returning officer has completed the required certification process (MEA 51(1)
April/May → Receive Ministerial approval in writing MEA 54(1). This approval to proceed is required prior to Council taking the vote on their formal VBM Resolution.
April/May → While awaiting Ministerial approval begin a review of local voting plans and identify COVID-19 Alert Level contingency measures.
May/June → Once approval is received from Minister, a formal resolution authorizing Vote by Mail (VBN) must be passed by Council MEA 54(1). Sample VBM Resolution wording: “Be it resolved that the Town of [insert] authorize residents to vote by mail in the 2021 Municipal Election pursuant to Section 54 of the Municipal Elections Act.”
May 26 → Watch on demand: Your Voters List.                              
DISCLAIMER: Elections NL have an agreement with both Vital Statistics and Elections Canada that ensures data on deceased persons and other relevant information held by these organizations is integrated in the current provincial Permanent List of Elector data. It is not necessary to further consult these bodies to update the voter lists Elections NL will provide municipalities for their 2021 elections
May/June → Begin work on your voter list. An early start will make this a much smoother process.
June/July → Begin voters list at least two months before the election. (July 28 at the latest)
June/July (July 5 deadline) → Following Council vote but no fewer than 60 days before election day MEA 54(3) Council shall make the regulations with respect to a mail-in system of voting that are necessary to carry out the election. Regulation templates and guidance materials are now available for download here: 
June 17Watch on demand: VBM Regulations templates and guidelines. View the webinar slide presentation here
June 30 → Watch on demand: Is your election accessible? View the webinar slide presentation here
Resources for this webinar: 
July 5→  Council adoption of VBM regulations. Sample VBM resolution wording: “Be it resolved that the Town of [insert] adopt the Town of [insert] Vote By Mail Regulations and forward them to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs for review and approval in writing pursuant to Sections 54 and 97 of the Municipal Elections Act.”
Late July → Not fewer than 60 days before election day MEA 54(4) the Returning Officer shall establish procedure and forms for voting by mail and provide a copy of the procedures and forms to each candidate for election.
Late August → Complete voters list one month before election (if not beforeMEA 31(3)
September 28th → Election Day! Download template guidance for poll staff. (Currently working on this document!)

Please Note:
 At the time of publication some of the documents listed in this table are still in DRAFT form but will be added to the municipal elections website as they are finalized.