YELLOWKNIFE (June 7, 2023) – The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Elections NWT, Stephen Dunbar, has issued the first set of instructions for potential candidates in the upcoming territorial election, coinciding with the start of the pre-election period on June 4.
The instructions outline legislative rules around identifying the origins of all election campaign materials in the run-up to the vote, which will be held on October 3 of this year.
The CEO’s instructions cover materials such as signs, press releases, advertisements, and broadcasts in all media, including on-line content, and state that sponsorship identification must be placed on all election materials, “so citizens know who is responsible for any election messaging, and how the sponsor can be reached to answer any questions from the public […] Failure to identify the sponsor is an election offence.” Any money spent by prospective candidates during the pre-election period counts towards the $30,000 limit that any person can spend on their candidacy.
Regarding third-party election-related advertising from “any corporation, organization, group or person who is advertising in support of or in opposition to a candidate,” the instructions state that they must register as a third-party advertiser with the Chief Electoral Officer “if the corporation, organization, group or person spends or intends to spend more than $500 during the election advertising period.”
Also issued are instructions regarding election expenses and reimbursements during the pre-election period, which began on June 4. The Writs of Election will be issued on September 4.
These instructions are consistent with previous instructions and are intended to provide further information to the public and potential candidates.
More detail, and the instructions themselves, can be found on the Elections NWT website at Electionsnwt.ca/en/instructions-and-directives.
Instructions vs. Directives:
Instructions are issued by the CEO to clarify existing areas of the Elections and Plebiscites Act, while any Directives issued vary sections of the Act.
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