Everything you need to know to run in municipal election

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Heather Coakwell is ready to offer information to would-be candidates for town council or the Hay River District Education Authority (DEA).

Heather Coakwell Returning officer for the municipal elections on Oct. 15, 2018. Paul Bickford Northern News Services Ltd.
Heather Coakwell Returning Officer for the municipal elections on Oct. 15, 2018. Paul Bickford Northern News Services Ltd.

Coakwell is the returning officer for the Oct. 15 elections for both organizations.

Nominations opened on Sept. 4 and will close at 3 p.m. on Sept. 17.

Speaking on Sept. 6, Coakwell said there had already been some interest from people.

“They’re just looking for the information package right now, which we give them, and then they go find their nominators and come back,” she said.

Coakwell explained the information packages include a form for two nominators to sign for a person to run to become a town councillor, the mayor or a member of the District Education Authority.

Candidates must have lived in Hay River for the last 12 months as of election day, be 18 years of age or over and be Canadian citizens.

The terms on town council and the DEA will be for three years.

Coakwell hopes there will be a lot of interest in running for town council and the DEA.

People should help make their community better, she said. “The best way to do that is to be involved, and this is one of the ways you can be.”

On Oct. 15, a mayor and eight councillors will be elected for the Town of Hay River.

All seven seats on the Hay River DEA will also be filled.

Coakwell was appointed the returning officer at the Aug. 28 meeting of town council.

She has about 20 years of experience running elections for various organizations, including Elections Canada, the GNWT, K’atlodeeche First Nation, West Point First Nation and Acho Dene Koe First Nation in Fort Liard.

This is her first time as returning officer for the Town of Hay River, but she was involved before as a deputy returning officer.

Coakwell noted that people are needed to fill other positions for the election.

One of the positions is a poll supervisor responsible for the general operation of a designated voting station. Experience is required for that role.

The other positions are deputy returning officers responsible for issuance and counting of ballots, assisting voters and administering oaths at the voting station; and poll clerks responsible for voter record management and assisting the deputy returning officer at a voting station.

Training will be provided.

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