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>> Municipal Election Act Changes

Municipal Elections Act Amendments Approved for 2010 Municipal and School Board Elections

1. Date Change: Election date changed to the fourth Monday of October. The next municipal election will be held on Monday, October 25, 2010.

2. Campaign Financing: In future elections, any campaign surpluses will go to the municipality.

Fundraising limits increased from 70 cents per elector to 85 cents per elector.

New contribution limits of $5000.00 per contributor
in each jurisdiction in addition to the existing $750.00 per candidate. More detailed reporting requirements of election expenses for all campaigns.

The Clerk will make all financial filings available upon request in electronic format.

Subject to Spending Limit:
All expenses related to election, unless specifically excluded.
The replacement value of goods retained from any previous election and used in the current election.
The value of contributions of goods and services.
Interest on loans.
Nomination filing fee.

Excluded from Spending Limit:
Cost of holding fundraising functions.
Cost of holding parties and other expressions of appreciation.
Expenses relating to a recount.
Expenses relating to a controverted election.
Expenses relating to a compliance audit.
Expenses relating to a candidate’s disability.
Audit and accounting fees.

3. Compliance Audits and Financial Accountability: All municipal councils are now required to appoint an arms-length compliance audit committee by October 1 of an election year comprised of 3-7 citizens. The committee will serve a four year term concurrent with the term of Council.

4. Accessibility: The changes to the Act require the Clerk to have regard to the needs of voters with disabilities and candidates by:

-Ensuring accessible voting places.

-Providing for matters and procedures not otherwise covered by the Municipal Elections Act.
-The Clerk producing a public post-election accessibility report within 90 days after voting day.

5. Voter’s List: Municipalities and MPAC may use additional sources of personal information to improve the accuracy of the voter’s list.

6. Identification: Voters will be required to provide identification at a voting place –proof of identity and proof of address. If an elector is on the voter’s list and doesn’t have ID, he/she may make a statutory declaration.

7. Spending Limit Estimate: The Clerk shall provide a spending limit estimate to candidates upon filing of nomination and will be based on the voters’ list from the previous election. The final spending limit will be provided no later than 10 days after Nomination Day (September 10, 2010) and will be based on the voters’ list from the current election. The higher amount will prevail.

8. Penalties:
Penalty provisions clarified/harmonized.
Greater range of penalties available to courts.
Increased penalties for unions, corporations, and individuals (including candidates).
Removal from office a potential penalty for all offences related to candidates.