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Election machine revs up

With three months to go before voters take to the polls Kelowna's election machine is getting ready to kick into high gear.

Information packages are now available for people interested in seeking a City Council or School Trustee seat.

Packages can be picked up at the City Clerk's office in City Hall.

The information package includes significant changes under the 'Local Elections Campaign Financing Act.'

The changes include new campaign financing and election advertising rules.

"The intent is to make who is paying for election advertising more open and transparent. That's the intent of the changes," says Deputy Election Officer, Stephen Fleming."

"As far as I know it's never been a big issue in Kelowna. It has been an issue in other parts of the province...in particular the Lower Mainland."

Another change concern the involvement of Elections BC in this year's municipal election.

Fleming says they have never had a role in civic politics until now.

"Now, things you file with us will be sent to Elections BC, and will be published on their website. There will be much more openness and things will be available about candidates, then and after the election about their finances," says Fleming.

There are also new rules pertaining to election signs recently endorsed by Kelowna City Council.

The other major change pertains to term. Beginning this year, successful candidates will serve for four years as opposed to three in previous elections.

Nomination packages for those interested in running will be available tomorrow (Friday) at 8 a.m. at City Hall.

Nomination papers can be filed between 9 a.m. Sept 30 and 4 p.m. Oct 10.

Fleming says there has been some interest from potential candidates wanting to know when nomination papers would be available.

The City of Kelowna runs the election for mayor, eight councillor and four school trustee spots.

In 2011, five people ran for mayor, a record 40 let their names stand for councillor while 14 sought the four school trustee seats.

Voters go to the polls Saturday, Nov 15.

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