Frequently Asked Questions

Municipal Elections

A candidate cannot run for both mayor and municipal council. He/she must choose one or the other. A candidate can, however, run for DEA while also being a candidate for mayor or municipal council.

Declared candidates will be listed on this site in the month prior to the election. It is their responsibility to make information about their candidacy (experience, priorities, etc.) available to voters in their municipality. This can take different forms, like flyers, door-to-door visits, or meetings.

At your local polling station in Apex, you will be able to vote for your local DEA, and also vote for council and mayor for the municipality of Iqaluit, of which you are a part. Furthermore, if you are eligible, you may vote in the Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut (CSFN) elections.

You can vote for members of the CSFN if you are a French-language rights holder, by meeting one of the criteria mentioned in article 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

  • Your native language is French (the first language learned and still understood);
  • You received your education at the elementary level in a French-language education institution in Canada;
  • You are the parent (guardian) of a child who has received or receives their education at the elementary or secondary level in a French-language education institution in Canada.

AND you are:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Resident of Nunavut for at least one year
  • Not voting in any other DEA election

The only school currently administered by the CSFN is in Iqaluit, however any person in Nunavut who is eligible may vote in CSFN elections. The Minister of Education may assist Elections Nunavut in registering voters for the CSFN elections.

In June 2017, a legislative proposal (Bill 49) was passed, bringing municipal council, mayoral and DEA elections election rules into the Nunavut Elections Act, and making Elections Nunavut responsible for overseeing those local elections in addition to the territorial ones they already managed. The purpose of the new legislation is to harmonize the municipal and territorial rules as much as possible, and in doing so, make all elections simpler and more efficient going forward.

Municipal councils are responsible for the municipality’s budget, as well as services like animal control, employment, roads, water, sewage, and recreation. A council has eight councillors and a mayor, all of whom are elected locally.

A District Education Authority (DEA) is a committee composed of seven members who have been elected locally. It meets once a month and, in partnership with Region School Operations and school staff, is responsible for deciding how education is administered in the community. Duties include establishing the school calendar, and developing an attendance policy. The Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut is also a DEA, but it has five members instead of seven. Read more about DEAs.

If there is a tie, or if the difference between the first two candidates is less than 2% of the total number of votes, the Returning Officer does an administrative recount. If there is still a tie after the administrative recount the Returning officer will either choose a winner by draw if the candidates agree or apply for a recount by Justice of the Peace. If the Justice of the Peace conducts a recount and one candidate obtained a higher number of votes than any other, that candidate is declared elected.  If, on the other hand, there is still a tie in the number of votes the Justice of the Peace will choose a winner by draw.

The next municipal election will be on October 28, 2019.

You can consult the map of municipalities.  There will be no Voter Information Cards sent out before the Municipal elections.

In accordance with the new elections legislation coming into to force in October 1, 2018, there will no longer be by-elections for municipal councillors or District Education Authority (DEA) members. Instead, replacement councillors or members will be selected either from candidates who were not elected, or from eligible applicants. If a mayoral seat becomes vacant, another mayor is chosen either through a by-election or by appointment by the council.

No. Municipalities are mapped out differently than constituencies. While there may be geographical overlap between the two types of electoral districts, they are not the same. There are 25 municipalities in Nunavut, and only 22 constituencies. For more information, consult the map of municipalities.

Plebiscites

No. Sometimes a plebiscite is used as a consultation tool, rather than as a way to definitively decide a question. Before a plebiscite vote is held, there is a formal statement issued that says if the results will be binding.

The plebiscite authority responsible for the issue decides whether to hold a plebiscite. The authority can be the Legislative Assembly, cabinet, a minister, or a municipality. If they have not already expressed the intent to hold a plebiscite on the issue, it can be requested through a public petition signed by 20% of eligible voters. If the plebiscite authority decides to proceed, they consult with Elections Nunavut to establish the wording of the question, the voting group, the schedule and the budget. Upon receiving formal instructions from the authority, Elections Nunavut holds the plebiscite vote and then announces the result.

An election is the process of choosing a person for public office by voting. In Nunavut, we elect mayors, municipal councillors, members of the District Education Authority, and members of the Legislative Assembly.

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”.

Territorial Elections

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?

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

To become a candidate for Member of the Legislative Assembly, 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 For Candidates.

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 Ways to Vote.

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

If there is a tie, or if the difference between the first two candidates is less than 2% of the total number of votes, the Returning Officer applies to the court for a judicial recount. At the recount, which can be attended by the candidates, a judge counts the ballots. If they find that one candidate obtained a higher number of votes than any other, that candidate is declared elected. If, on the other hand, there is still a tie in the number of votes, the Chief Electoral Officer orders a by-election to be held in that constituency.

When voting ends, the election officials close the doors and begin the process of counting the votes for each candidate.

There are procedures in place the election officials must follow to ensure the count is accurate, fair and transparent. Candidates or their authorized representative are permitted to watch the count.

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.

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.

A territorial 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.

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

The next territorial general election will be in the fall of 2021. Elections are usually held every 4 years. The last general election was in 2017.

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.

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

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.

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. 

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.

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.