MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS CANDIDATE FAQ
Am I able to run for my municipal council?
You are able to run for municipal office if you:
• are a Canadian citizen
• are at least 18 years of age (or older); and
• have been ordinarily a resident in the municipality for a period of at least six months before the election
There are different rules in the Resort Municipality (see subsections 33(4) and 33(6) of the Municipal Government Act).
What are wards? What is an open ward, or an at large system?
A ward is a formally defined area within a municipality; in a ward system the ward corresponds with a council seat. Councillors are elected to represent these defined areas by the residents living in that ward.
An open ward, or an “at large” system means there are no formally defined areas (wards) within the municipality, so there are no “reserved” seats. Councillors are elected “at large”; by all the residents living in the municipality.
How do I know if my municipality has an open system or wards?
The following municipalities are the only ones who have wards:
• Three Rivers
• Bedeque and Area
• North Shore
• West River
If my municipality has wards, do I need to live in the ward I plan on running in?
You are not required to live in the ward you plan on running in, but you must be nominated by qualified electors who live in that ward.
Who is a qualified elector?
A qualified elector is someone who is eligible to vote.
Electors are qualified if they:
• are a Canadian citizen
• are at least 18 years of age (or older); and
• have been ordinarily a resident in the municipality, or ward (if applicable) for a period of at least six months before the election
Resort Municipality only - All non-resident property electors (people or corporations) who own land in the municipality) who:
• Are Canadian citizens who are at least 18 years of age on election day; or
• Are authorized to vote on behalf of a non-resident corporation or incorporated co-operative association
How many seats are there on council?
The councils for the Resort Municipality, Rural Municipalities, and Towns generally have 6 councillors and a mayor. Here are a few exceptions below in the table.
|Municipality||Council size 2022 Election||Current|
|Town of Three Rivers||8 council plus mayor||12 +Mayor|
|City of Charlottetown||10 council plus mayor||same|
|City of Summerside||8 council plus mayor||same|
Can I run for both mayor, and council?
No, you are only able to run for one position.
When can I declare my intention to run for office?
There is no set date for potential candidates to declare their intentions of running for municipal office. However, there is a difference in declaring yourself, and being an official candidate.
When am I officially considered a candidate?
You are officially considered a candidate once you have submitted the required nomination form, in the manner required as outlined by the MEO and the municipality, during the nomination period.
How do I become nominated?
To be nominated to run for municipal office (and to be officially considered a candidate) you must fill out the required nomination form. The form requires that you be nominated by 5 or more qualified electors (maximum 10) within the municipality, or the ward (if applicable). The qualified electors must sign the form and provide their addresses. This must be done during the nomination period, or the extended nomination period. An extended nomination period happens if not enough candidates are nominated at the time the nominations close.
Your municipality may require (through bylaw) that you have more than 5 qualified electors with a maximum of 10 qualified electors, and they may also require a nomination deposit of no more than $200 be paid. You should check with your municipality to verify the number of signatures, and to see if the deposit is refundable.
|City of Charlottetown||$100|
|City of Summerside||$100|
|Town of Cornwall||$100|
|Town of Kensington||$50|
|Town of Souris||$100|
|Town of Three Rivers||$100|
What if I change my mind, can I withdrawal my nomination?
Yes, you can withdraw your nomination at any time after completing the candidate withdrawal form – but, if you paid a deposit it will be forfeited to the municipality upon your withdrawal.
How do I know who else is running for council?
After nominations close the list of nominated candidates has to be made available to the public.
You should visit the municipality’s election office or contact your municipality’s municipal electoral officer (MEO) to get this information.
Am I able to get a list of electors in my municipality who could vote for me?
Yes. After being officially nominated, the returning officer will provide each candidate (or their agent) with a preliminary list of eligible electors for each polling division and ward (if applicable). The official list will be provided. (Name/Address only)
What is a candidate’s agent? Do I need to have one?
A candidate’s agent is appointed by you (the candidate) to represent you at the election or at any proceeding of the election. Candidates can appoint no more than two agents to represent them at any one polling station. You are not required to have an agent.
If you would like to appoint someone to be your agent you can do so in writing, and by completing the candidate agent form.
When can I start campaigning?
There is no set date for when campaigns can begin, and you can begin to prepare for your campaign before being officially nominated. However, you should familiarize yourself with the Campaign Contributions and Election Expenses Bylaw Regulations. Under section 2(3) of the regulations; “The bylaw may permit expenses for the preparation of advertising materials and signs to be incurred prior to the election expenses period, but shall require that those expenses be recorded and disclosed as election expenses in accordance with the provisions of the bylaw."
Under these regulations, the expense period begins when a person publicly declares their intention to run for municipal office. This means you need to keep track of expenses and contributions from the moment you declare your intention to run and be prepared to file a disclosure statement with this information.
How much can I spend on my campaign?
Spending limits vary from municipality to municipality and from the position of mayor to councillor. Please see the table below:
(Table is based on submitted Elections Bylaws as of July 28, 2022. Limits can change, so be sure to confirm with your MEO - Municipal Electoral Officer.)
|City of Charlottetown||$50,000||$10,000|
|City of Summerside||$50,000||$10,000|
|Town of Alberton||$50,000||$10,000|
|Town of Borden-Carleton||$50,000||$10,000|
|Town of Cornwall||$50,000||$10,000|
|Town of Kensington||$5,000||$2,500|
|Town of North Rustico||$5,000||$2,500|
|Town of O'Leary||$50,000||$10,000|
|Town of Souris||$50,000||$10,000|
|Town of Stratford||$25,000||$5,000|
|Town of Three Rivers||$50,000||$10,000|
|Town of Tignish||$3,000||$1,000|
|Rural Municipality of Abram-Village||$50,000||$10,000|
|Rural Municipality of Alexandra||$2,000||$1,000|
|Rural Municipality of Annandale-Little Pond-Howe Bay||$5,000||$1,000|
|Rural Municipality of Bedeque & Area||$3,000||$2,000|
|Rural Municipality of Belfast||$5,000||$2,000|
|Rural Municipality of Brackley||$15,000||$5,000|
|Rural Municipality of Breadalbane||$500||$250|
|Rural Municipality of Central Kings||$5,000||$2,000|
|Rural Municipality of Central Prince||$1,000||$750|
|Rural Municipality of Clyde River||$500||$200|
|Rural Municipality of Crapaud||$50,000||$10,000|
|Rural Municipality of Darlington*||$5,000||$1,000|
|Rural Municipality of Eastern Kings||$5,000||$3,000|
|Rural Municipality of Greenmount-Montrose||$1,000||$1,000|
|Rural Municipality of Hampshire||$500||$100|
|Rural Municipality of Hazelbrook||$1,000||$500|
|Rural Municipality of Hunter River||$500||$100|
|Rural Municipality of Kingston||$50,000||$10,000|
|Rural Municipality of Kinkora||$500||$500|
|Rural Municipality of Linkletter||$1,000||$500|
|Rural Municipality of Lot 11 & Area||$1,000||$750|
|Rural Municipality of Malpeque Bay||$1,000||$500|
|Rural Municipality of Miltonvale Park||$10,000||$3,000|
|Rural Municipality of Miminegash||N/A||N/A|
|Rural Municipality of Miscouche||$50,000||$10,000|
|Rural Municipality of Morell||$5,000||$2,000|
|Rural Municipality of Mount Stewart||$5,000||$2,000|
|Rural Municipality of Murray Harbour||$5,000||$2,000|
|Rural Municipality of Murray River||$5,000||$3,000|
|Rural Municipality of North Shore||$10,000||$5,000|
|Rural Municipality of Northport||$2,000||$1,000|
|Rural Municipality of North Wiltshire||$500||$100|
|Rural Municipality of Sherbrooke||$100||$100|
|Rural Municipality of Souris West||$3,500||$2,500|
|Rural Municipality of St. Felix||$50,000||$10,000|
|Rural Municipality of St. Louis||$10,000||$1,500|
|Rural Municipality of St. Nicholas||$2,000||$1,000|
|Rural Municipality of St. Peter's||$2,000||$1,000|
|Rural Municipality of Tignish Shore||$2,000||$1,000|
|Rural Municipality of Tyne Valley||$10,000||$2,000|
|Rural Municipality of Union Road||$1,000||$500|
|Rural Municipality of Victoria||$500||$100|
|Rural Municipality of Warren Grove||$5,000||$1,000|
|Rural Municipality of Wellington||$1,000||$1,000|
|Rural Municipality of West River||$15,000||$5,000|
|Rural Municipality of York||$10,000||$5,000|
* Municipality has applied to dissolve.
Are there rules around campaign advertising?
Rules around advertising for your campaign vary from municipality to municipality, you should familiarize yourself with your municipality’s Elections Bylaw, and the Campaign Contributions and Election Expenses Bylaw, and check to see if your municipality has any specific rules around advertising. For example, some municipalities have a campaign spending limit of $1 or less. A spending limit of $1 would impact your advertising capacity.
When can I put up campaign signs?
There are set dates for when you can put up, and when you must take down, your campaign signs.
For most municipalities, election signs are covered by the Highway Signage Act and Regulations. In municipalities where this legislation applies, signs must not be put up more than one month ahead of the municipal election and must be taken down within seven days following the election.
Some municipalities, and some areas within municipalities, are exempt from the Highway Signage Act and Regulations. If you intend to campaign in the jurisdictions below you should contact your municipality directly for further guidance:
• Miltonvale Park
• Resort Municipality
• The former Municipality of Georgetown (area of Three Rivers)
• The former Municipality of Montague (area of Three Rivers)
Can I accept donations for my campaign?
Yes, you may accept donations for your campaign, if permitted under your municipality's campaign contributions bylaw. Under the Campaign Contributions and Election Expenses Bylaw Regulations the maximum donation amount from a contributor cannot be more than $1,575. You will need to track all contributions you receive, and be prepared to file a disclosure statement with this information.
Any campaign surplus shown on the disclosure statement will depend on the circumstances and will be outlined the municipality's bylaw. Withdrawal of the candidate generally the contribution is returned on a pro-rated basis to the contributor. At completion of the election any surplus shown on the disclosure statement should be provided to the Chief Administrative Officer of the Municipality for municipal purposes.
What about anonymous donations?
Candidates are not allowed to accept anonymous campaign contributions.
If you do receive an anonymous donation you must ensure it is not used or spent and is instead donated to a charity of your choice within 30 days of receiving the contribution. The charity you choose must be registered under the Canadian Income Tax Act. This information must be tracked and included on your disclosure statement.
What are my responsibilities for election day?
Other than voting, you have no responsibilities or legislative requirements to fulfill on election day.
When it comes time for the count you may want to consider making yourself available to watch the count, or have your appointed agent do so on your behalf.
When will I know the election results?
You will learn the results after all the votes are counted in accordance with the regulations. The MEO may publish unofficial results as they are received from the polling station, and all official election results will be proclaimed by the MEO no later than 14 days following election day.
For results, you can contact your municipality’s election office or view online results here.
What elections are administered by Elections PEI?
The following municipalities have Elections PEI administer their elections:
• Three Rivers
Can I request a recount, or challenge the election results?
Yes, you can request a recount to the MEO, when the votes you received are within 15 votes of the votes counted for another candidate. You must make this request within four days following election day.
If the votes counted for each of the leading candidates are within 10 votes than the MEO will automatically perform a recount.
All recounts must be done within 7 days following the election.
Election results can be challenged by candidates by making an application to the Supreme Court. Challenges can only be made under certain grounds as detailed under Section 55 of the Municipal Government Act.
When does the newly elected council take office?
New councils are sworn into office between December 1st and December 7th. You cannot act as a member of council until you have been sworn in (affirmed the oath of office).
If elected your term lasts four years, from the 7th day of December following the election till the 6th day of December following the next election (2026).
Is there any training available after I am elected?
Yes, after being elected Municipal Affairs will provide an orientation session. In addition to this, Municipal Affairs has a number of resources and training materials that can be provided to councillors by request.
Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) often provide some introductory training for new councils as well. Contact your municipality to inquire about training opportunities with the CAO.