Halifax regional council hopeful Waye Mason says opening up the polls two weeks before the election is too early because that’s when candidates are kicking their campaigns into high gear and election drama becomes most interesting. “That’s when you see the media giving candidates the most coverage, people as well as the candidates are engaging more,” said Mason, who’s running in District 7. “I just don’t know that people really know what decision they want to make yet.”
Tom Bateman, a political science professor at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, tends to agree. “Generally you don’t get more people voting, you get people voting in advance to get it out of the way to avoid the rush and standing in line,” he said Monday. “But that kind of messes things up for the candidates because they really kick it into gear during the last few weeks.” Mason, one of four candidates hoping to dethrone incumbent Sue Uteck, would like to see electronic voting, which opened Saturday and runs until Oct. 18, start about a week before the election.