Measure taken to ensure election conducted safely; Friday last chance to get in or out of race

The Clerk for the Town of Pelham has declared an emergency under Sec. 53 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

With a provincial order declaring an emergency on March 17, and the Town of Pelham declaring an emergency on April 3, the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, provides that the Clerk is responsible for the conduct of the municipal election and may declare such an emergency to enact any measures the Clerk deems necessary or desirable to conduct the election.

“This declaration provides the municipality with options and means to ensure the safety and availability for all to vote in this fall’s by-election,” said Clerk Nancy Bozzato in a Town statement released July 28.

“Under the Act, the Clerk is given the authority to make the necessary arrangements, such as mail-in voting, for example, to ensure a safe voting experience.”

The Ward 1 by-election is set for September 15, 2020, and declaring the emergency gives the Clerk and staff the ability to identify new and safe approaches to conducting the election. The necessary adaptations to the by-election voting process must be consistent with the Act’s principles.

Measures being considered include:

  • Advance voting opportunities with the suggestion to vote by odd/even house numbers, reducing the number of people in attendance and shorten wait times
  • Addition of election officer positions including Physical Distancing Officer, Poll Station Cleaner, and Health Assessment Officer
  • Personal protective equipment will be provided, including issuance of masks and one-time use gloves, one-time use pens, health assessment screening for anyone attending a voting place, and barrier screening for election personnel
  • Introduction of on-demand special ballot process for persons impacted by COVID-19 or with lowered immune systems, allowing them to vote by mail or ballot delivery to a secure station

Friday deadline for entering or leaving race

This Friday, July 31, marks both the last day for filing a nomination as well as withdrawing from the race. Both applications must be completed no later than 2 PM.

Filing fee for ward councillor is $100.

If a candidate decides they no longer wish to run for office, they must file a written Withdrawal of Nomination form, in person, with the Town Clerk; provide identification;
and file a financial statement by the deadline date.

Certifying nominations

Before 4 PM next Tuesday, August 4, the Clerk must examine each nomination field. If satisfied and the nomination complies with the Municipal Election Act, 1996, the person is qualified to be nominated and the Clerk shall certify the nomination.

If not satisfied, the Clerk shall reject the nomination and give notice to the person who sought to be nominated and all other candidates for that office. The Clerk’s decision to reject a nomination is final.

The Clerk may consider the following criteria in the decision to reject or certify nominations:

  • The candidate has refused or declined to provide proof of qualifications or identification suitable to the Town Clerk;
  • The candidate does not meet the eligibility requirements set out under Section 29(1) of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996;
  • The nomination form is not complete in its entirety or the filing fee has not been paid;
  • The necessary financial statement was not filed for the previous regular election for any new election in which the individual may have been a candidate.


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