FREDERICTON (GNB) – Officials from the provincial government have drafted a discussion paper on electoral reform which will be referred to a select committee of the legislative assembly for study this fall.

“We promised to study the possibility of online voting and preferential balloting for provincial elections,” said Deputy Government House Leader Victor Boudreau. “There have also been numerous other electoral reform measures discussed in recent months that we are including for consideration in this paper. These include examining ways of eliminating barriers to entering politics for underrepresented groups, looking at the minimum voting age and the possible modification of rules that impact election campaign financing.”

The provincial government has tabled the discussion paper and will ask the legislature to strike a select committee to consider its contents.

It is expected that hearings will take place in the fall with a report due by early 2017. The plan is to allow for any changes to be implemented in advance of the 2018 general election.