Northwestern New Brunswickers prepare to hit the polls in second pandemic election
EDMUNDSTON, N.B. -- New Brunswickers in the northwestern part of the province are set to hit the polls Tuesday, as part of the province’s second pandemic election.
Parts of the Edmundston-Madawaska region were previously under lockdown because of an outbreak of COVID-19, prompting Elections New Brunswick to postpone municipal elections in that area.
"The candidates I’ve spoken to in the Edmundston region fully understand the reason for this," said Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick president Alex Scholten.
“It has been frustrating but the overwhelming majority are recognizing the unique situation we find ourselves in," said Scholten.
Candidates outside of that region have been anxiously awaiting the results of the ballots cast on election day, which took place for most of the province nearly two weeks ago.
John Mackenzie, who is vying for re-election as a councillor in Saint John, says although the wait has been a challenge, he is keeping things in perspective.
"People are waiting for test results, vaccines, they’re waiting to see loved ones." said Mackenzie. "So, I guess we can do it, we can put up with the inconvenience for a couple of weeks."
This is not the first election delay caused by COVID-19. The municipal election itself was originally scheduled to take place last year, however, it was postponed until this May due to the pandemic. Meaning an extra year in office for mayors and councillors around the province.
"The folks that had dedicated a lot of time to their communities, and had anticipated an end date for that, and stayed on because of the pandemic, because of the delay in the election. I really have to tip my hat to them," said Scholten.
Once polls close in the Edmundston-Madawaska region Tuesday at 8pm, the reporting of results for the entire province will take place.