Resignation of legislative assembly member leads to upcoming by-election in Nova Scotia

Premier Tim Houston announced on July 7th that A Nova Scotia byelection would take place on August 8th to choose a new legislature member for the Preston riding.

April 1st was Liberal party member Angela’s Simmond’s last day as a legislative assembly member and deputy speaker.

Simmon, who announced her resignation earlier this year in January, was the first black woman named deputy speaker in Nova Scotia. She was elected deputy speaker in August 2021 during the provincial election after being unsuccessful in her run for the party leadership last year and losing to current party leader Zach Churchill.

During the 2021 election, Simmonds received 43 percent of the votes, while the Progressive Conservatives party and the New Democrats party split the remaining votes.

The Halifax-area riding has been vacant since the resignation; however, the Conservative party currently holds 31 seats in the provincial legislature, with Liberals holding 16, the New Democrats holding six, and Independents holding one.

The candidates in the by-election include Twila Grosse on behalf of the Conservatives, Carlo Simmons is running for the Liberals, and Colter Simmonds is in for the New Democrats.

This election in Nova Scotia will be the first by-election in Canada featuring electronic ballots instead of paper ballots. Early votes in person will be made using an electronic system. Lindsay Rodenkirchen, Assistant chief electoral officer said in a statement “The Preston byelection will be the first use of e-balloting in Canada. We are confident in the integrity of this innovative voting method.” The secure system was developed by her agency and will give voters the opportunity to choose a candidate on an electronic tablet at the polling station instead of using a paper ballot. This system was made with the consultations of a security team and all risk factors were taken into consideration.

This by-election will be the start of the change to future elections all across Canada, showing how technology is evolving and the positive impacts it has and can lead to.