Chief Electoral Officer Kimberly Poffenroth today tabled a special report before the legislative assembly’s standing committee on procedures, privileges and legislative officers. Among the nine recommendations contained in the post-election report is a call to provide the chief electoral officer with greater flexibility to respond to emergency situations that arise during a provincial election, similar to those which were recently provided through amendments to the Municipal Elections Act adopted by the legislative assembly.
“The importance of having the ability to adapt procedures, as required, to preserve everyone’s fundamental right to vote was amplified in last year’s provincial general election which was held during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Poffenroth.
Other recommendations in the report include a review of the existing vote-by-mail process, which saw an unprecedented increase in demand during the September 2020 election as a result of the pandemic. Poffenroth also renewed the call to end the appointment by government of returning officers, who play a pivotal role in the administration of elections by Elections New Brunswick.
“I urge elected officials to give these recommendations the consideration that I believe they warrant, and I welcome the opportunity to elaborate on the recommendations and their importance,” said Poffenroth.
In the coming weeks, Elections New Brunswick expects to release its official report on the Sept. 14, 2020, provincial general election, which contains the poll-by-poll results, voter turnout numbers and other statistics of interest.