The provincial government has announced that they are adjusting the dates of the provincial, municipal and school board elections coming up in 2020.
Currently, the 2020 municipal and school board elections would be held five days prior to the provincial election. The government, feeling that those two days were too close, decided to make the adjustments.
“After consulting extensively with both rural and urban municipalities, it was clear they wanted to keep their elections in the fall of 2020,” Premier Schott Moe said. “We believe we have reached a reasonable compromise that will allow local officials time to prepare for these changes.”
The provincial election will now be held on October 26, 2020, with the municipal and school board elections being held two weeks later on November 9, 2020.
"We have no issue with that," offered Estevan's Mayor, Roy Ludwig. He noted that there might be a case of voter apathy due to the two lections being held so soon.
"There may be some of that. Hopefully not enough to make a negative impact but there very well be some of that. I know it's always a tough decision when you start to move the date. Where do you go and how far do you go? So it's always tricky anytime you get involved in moving an election date."
There was talk of moving the municipal election back a year, but that won't be the case now.
"Not all of the councils were happy with that in the province. We were willing to go another year if needed."
“Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) is pleased that voters in Saskatchewan's hometowns will continue to head to the polls every four years to elect their municipal government,” SUMA President Gordon Barnhart said. “Our hometown governments are the order of government closest to the people and established election dates promote accountability and transparency.”
“Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is generally satisfied with the municipal election date being moved to November 9, 2020,” SARM President Ray Orb said. “Our members did not want to postpone municipal elections by one year and although a date change was not our preferred option, the current option will allow time for our farmers to complete harvest and will not interfere with SARM’s Midterm Convention 2020.”
“We are pleased the dates have been chosen and we respect the Government of Saskatchewan’s authority to make this decision,” Saskatchewan School Boards Association President Dr. Shawn Davidson said. “We believe that this change will be less challenging than other options that were considered and we look forward to ongoing partnership and collaboration. Locally elected boards will continue to work hard to represent the families and communities that elect us.”
“Fall provincial elections make sense because they don’t disrupt the legislative calendar,” Moe said. “The government can still introduce the Throne Speech in the fall and a budget at the usual time in the spring.”