New Brunswick postpones municipal elections in response to coronavirus pandemic

New Brunswick has passed legislation that will postpone municipal elections that were scheduled for this May.

The decision comes amid growing uncertainty over the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The province’s legislature carried out first, second and third readings in a single day after cross-party support for an Act Respecting Elections in 2020. The bill has already received royal assent.

“With the large number of electors, polling stations and poll workers, there was no safe way to undertake the municipal election at this time,” said Kim Poffenroth, New Brunswick’s chief electoral officer.

“Elections are contact-heavy events and with the guidance of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s directive on public gatherings and social distancing, it was felt to be the only option at this time.”

The legislation also postpones two byelections, previously scheduled for June 15, 2020.

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