Territorial election law has changed to prepare for the 2015 general election.
Bill 33 – An Act to Amend the Elections and Plebiscites Act, No. 2, received assent on November 6, 2014.
The amendments will strengthen the integrity of the electoral process in the Northwest Territories by providing greater accessibility to voting, clarifying advertising and campaign finance rules, and enhancing the enforcement capabilities of the Chief Electoral Officer.
Bill 33 reflects the recommendations made by the Chief Electoral Officer and the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures following their respective reports from the 2011 general election: The Auxiliary Report of the Chief Electoral Officer: Issues Arising from the 2011 General Election and Report on the Review of the Auxiliary Report of the Chief Electoral Officer on the Issues Arising from the 2011 General Election.
These changes will:
- Provide a new advance voting opportunity for residents in communities without a resident returning officer;
- Expand vouching to allow for an individual to vouch for five electors;
- Prohibit candidates from vouching for electors.
- Place a limit of $1500 on total anonymous campaign contributions; and
- Give the Chief Electoral Officer the power to summon witnesses, evidence, or documents necessary for a full and proper investigation
The changes will apply to the next NWT general election.
This bill represents the second of two bills in 2014 to amend the Elections and Plebiscites Act. The first, Bill 26 – An Act to Amend the Elections and Plebiscites Act, received assent on June 5, 2014.