Frequently Asked Questions


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”.