Frequently Asked Questions

About elections and plebiscites

Contact Elections Nunavut to inquire as to any available positions in your community.

A by-election happens when a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) leaves their job before the next general election. In a by-election, only eligible voters in that constituency can vote for their MLA.

Each constituency is represented by a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). Nunavut has 22 constituencies. The city of Iqaluit has four constituencies, and some other larger communities have two.

A general election is when there’s a vote in all of Nunavut’s communities for all 22 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs).

We elect Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) during general elections. There are currently 22 sitting in the Legislative Assembly. Each one represents his or her own constituency. The role of an MLA can be described in two ways: 

  1. Spokesperson for the people in his/her constituency.
  2. Representative of his/her constituencies, acting in sound judgment to defend their interests. MLAs play a critical role in keeping the people of their constituencies informed of the work undertaken by the government, and, on the other hand, of keeping the government informed of their constituencies' needs and reactions to the current issues facing the government.

More information on the Legislative Assembly and the work of MLAs can be found on the website of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.

In Nunavut, an election refers to the process of electing Members of the Legislative Assembly, who form the Government of Nunavut and make laws.

A plebiscite is also a vote, but instead of choosing Members of the Legislative Assembly, voters are asked an important question to which they must answer “yes” or “no”.

The next general election will be on October 30, 2017. Elections are usually held every 4 years. The last general election was in 2013.

The results will be posted on the home page of this site soon after the closing of the polls and the counting of the ballots. They will also be announced in local media.

Learn about your current Member of the Legislative Assembly by clicking on your area on the Constituency Map. Clicking on their name will take you to a brief biography as well as their contact information.

Voting

You can vote if you are:

  • A Canadian citizen
  • 18 years or older
  • A Nunavut resident

You are disqualified from voting if:

  • You have a court order that says you don’t understand your actions or you can’t decide things for yourself;
  • You committed a crime and are in a place for people with mental illness
  • You have been convicted of breaking an election law anywhere in Canada in the last five years.

For more information, see Who Can Vote?

Some people may be at work during all the hours that the polling station is open. If needed, employers must give these voters up to two hours off work to vote. The employer chooses the time. Voters that work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. don’t get time off work to vote.

You may need to show identification if the election officer doesn’t personally know you, or to show your civic or mailing address. Your driver’s license, vehicle registration and Government of Nunavut General Identification Card are all accepted. If you don’t have any of these, there are other pieces of identification that are accepted in combination. For more information, contact Elections Nunavut.

Residents of Arviat, Igloolik, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit can find their constituency using the House Lookup tool. These and other residents can also do this by clicking on their region on the Constituency Map

There are two ways to get on the Voters List:

  • Complete the Voter Registration Form online. Print it and send it to us.
  • Complete the form when you go to vote. You may need to provide identification.

To change or correct your information on the Voters List, complete the Change and Correct Form online. Then, print it and send it to us by fax or mail.

Elections Nunavut has strict rules they follow about personal information, which is kept safe in their office.  Information about the voter (registration forms), including the voters lists are NEVER given to anyone who is not authorized by the Nunavut Elections Act. Keeping a vote secret is very important to Elections Nunavut. You have the right to vote by secret ballot, and many steps are taken to ensure your identity is separate from your vote. 

There are various options available to you. Here are the main ones:

  • Office of the Returning Officer - From 14 to 4 days before Election Day, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    or
    Advance vote – One day only, in communities with no Returning Officer, 7 days before Election Day, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Mail-in ballot - For voters who won't be in their communities during the voting days. Complete the Special Ballot Application Form. Then print it and send it to us by fax or mail. Once your application is approved, we will send you a mail-in ballot kit.

To learn more, see How to Vote.

If you are homeless, you are considered a resident in any place that offers you food or lodging, where you may sleep or take a meal.

If you are on the Voters List, you will get a Voter Information Card in the mail early in the election period that will show where and when to vote on Election Day, and also where to vote in advance.

Accessibility

There is a Mobile Poll in every community available for those voters with physical disabilities and elders who cannot leave their home, one week before Election Day.

Within the polling station, the Deputy Returning Officer can help you if you need it. You can also bring a friend or relative to help. 

For more information on these options, see How to Vote.

 

Candidates

To become a candidate, follow these steps:

1. Read Elections Nunavut’s guides:

2. Check with your employer.

Some employers have rules for employees who are candidates. For example, you might have to take a leave of absence during election time.

3. Choose a Financial Agent and a Campaign Manager.

As a candidate, you have to have a Financial Agent. This person manages all the money for your campaign. They take contributions from supporters, pay expenses, and help you do your financial return after the election. It is up to you whether to have a Campaign Manager. You do not have to have one.

4. Declare your candidacy.

Fill out the Declaration of Candidacy. It must be signed by you and your Financial Agent.

  • Take it to your local Returning Officer or Assistant Returning Officer.
  • You must do this between 35 to 31 days before Election Day. The cut-off on the last day is at 2 p.m. (local time).
  • You must provide a $200 deposit with your Declaration of Candidacy.

To learn more about becoming a candidate, see Who Can Be a Candidate? as well as other information in the Candidates & Campaigns section of this site.

To learn about the different candidates, go to the Constituency Map.