There are many ways to cast your vote during the 38th general election, including special polls, which begin Thursday, May 28. Special polls are held from noon to 8 p.m., from May 28 to June 3 at local returning offices. Electors can find the address of their returning office on the back of the yellow voter information card mailed to them by Elections Nova Scotia. “While most people vote on election day, people can also vote at the early polls or by write-in ballot,” said Christine McCulloch, Nova Scotia’s chief electoral officer. “In fact, many people aren’t aware that they can vote by write-in ballot at any point during the electoral period now that the returning offices are open, if they first register for a write-in ballot.” Advance polls will be held June 5 and June 6, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. across the province. Unlike special polls, advance polls are not held at returning offices. The address of advance poll locations are also on the back of the voter information card. In addition to the two early poll options, electors can vote by mail. They must complete an application for registration, which can be obtained from a local Elections Nova Scotia returning office or online at www.electionsnovascotia.ca . A write-in ballot kit will be sent to approved applicants by return mail. In order to be counted, ballots have to reach the local returning office when polling stations close on election day. If voting my mail, the completed registration form and the required proof of identification must reach the local Elections Nova Scotia returning office by 8 p.m., Saturday, May 30. Voters can drop-in and write-in during regular office hours at their local returning office. Once registered, an elector cannot change his or her mind and vote in any other way during the general election. “Elections Nova Scotia wants to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots in a way that is most convenient for them,” said Ms. McCulloch. Electors who did not receive a voter information card or who received one with incorrect information may contact a local Elections Nova Scotia returning office or use the voter information toll-free number, 1-800-565-1504, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and until 5 p.m. on Sunday.
UNDP reported today that its Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP) had joined the Palestinian Red Crescent Society/Gaza Strip in launching an “Emergency Needy Student Fund.” “With world headlines filled for nearly seven months about suffering and losses, it is encouraging that UNDP has once again demonstrated its commitment to the future of the Palestinian people,” said Dr. Haider Abdel Shafi, Chairman of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society/Gaza Strip. For his part, Timothy Rothermel, Special Representative of UNDP/PAPP, expressed hope that “this small investment in the future of Palestinian youth – especially at this time – will be seen as a contribution towards peace and development.” Both Dr. Abdel Shafi and Mr. Rothermel appealed to international donors, businesses and charitable bodies to support the initiative by contributing to the fund. They stressed that unless immediate efforts are made to deal with the crisis facing students, Palestinian society will suffer from its impact for generations.The rapid spread of unemployment and poverty among Palestinians families, especially in the Gaza Strip, has left many unable to meet basic needs, UNDP said, noting that costs of higher education were an expense that many families could no longer afford. According to the agreement establishing the fund, UNDP is allocating $150,000 as seed money to be used immediately for support of the most needy students studying at local Palestinian universities and abroad. The beneficiary students will be identified through area committees established by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society/Gaza Strip with the support of social workers.