Nominations open for local elections

Council and mayoral hopefuls across the valley have a little over a week to declare their intent to run in November.

Council and mayoral hopefuls across the valley have a little over a week to declare their intent to run in November.

Electoral officers in Canal Flats, Radium Hot Springs, the Regional District of East Kootenay and the District of Invermere began accepting completed nomination packets Tuesday at 9 a.m. and will do so until October 14 at 4 p.m.

The number of nominators needed by a candidate fluctuates slightly from community to community, with Radium having some of the valley’s most demanding requirements.

In Radium, “they have to get five nominees who have to be electors, and they have to fill out the nomination package,” explains village CAO and chief election official Mark Read. “We also have a $100 deposit that has to go in with the nomination papers.”

Neither Canal Flats or the District of Invermere require candidates to make a deposit, nor does the RDEK, which handles school trustee and area director nominees.

So far, Read says he hasn’t seen many people stop by to collect nomination packets from the village office.

“I know the existing councillors have received packages. I’m not sure what their plans are…” he says. “I don’t believe anyone else has picked up a package yet.”

In Invermere, deputy election official Nancy Smith is seeing fairly different numbers. She says at least eight people have taken home nomination papers, which she says seems like a healthy level of interest at this point in the process.

Though there hasn’t been much movement in the village yet, Read says some council hopefuls may wait longer than others to get their papers in.

“There’s a pretty wide variance. Some people get on it right away, and some people wait until the last minute. It varies just like personalities,” he says, adding in its short elections history Radium has seen all kinds of races.

“We’ve had mayoral elections and we’ve had elections for council and acclamations. There’s no hard or fast rule.”

Once nominations close on October 14, the names of all candidates who’ve filed their papers will become public knowledge.