by Kim Poffenroth, Chief Electoral Officer, NB
On May 11, 2020, citizens in the Greater Fredericton Region will join electors province- wide who will be voting in elections for their municipal councils, district education councils and regional health authority boards.
What isn’t known, at this early stage, are the names that will ultimately appear on the ballots as candidates for these positions. Over the coming months, hundreds of men and women will weigh the decision of whether to run in these important local elections.
Elections New Brunswick is once again raising awareness about these local elections. We are working with our partners at the Departments of Environment and Local Government, Education and Early Childhood Development and Health to encourage people to consider throwing their hats into the ring.
We chose the theme of this election’s campaign, “Local Choice-Local Voice”, to drive home the message of what these elections are all about. These elections represent a way of making sure the voices of local citizens are heard and are part of the decision making process.
Whether it’s a position on your municipal council, as an elected representative with the local education council, or as a board member of the regional health authority, each of these positions can have a significant impact on services and programs available at the grass roots level, in your community and in your Province.
The individuals who decide to become candidates are choosing to give back in a very tangible and meaningful way to the communities where they live, worke and, in many cases, raise their families.
Without a doubt, it is not an easy decision to put your name forward as a candidate. Each of these elected positions come with a commitment that requires you to put in even more time in what, for many people, is already a busy schedule that requires much effort in order to balance the demands of work and home life.
The second part of our campaign is focused on encouraging electors to do their part by voting during the elections in May 2020. The theme, “Local Choice-Local Voice”, is still very much applicable. It is just as important that voters go to the polls to make their “choice” by selecting who will be their “voice” in these important elected bodies.
By voting, citizens also send a clear signal to every candidate that his or her decision to offer as a candidate is appreciated, whether or not the individual is ultimately successful on Election Day.
On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I want to thank, in advance, everyone who decides they are ready to get in the race. Democracy is always better served when electors have the option of choosing from a diverse field of candidates.