TRURO - Thousands of Colchester County residents are eligible to vote at the polls today.
The biggest race is for mayor in the Town of Truro where longtime incumbent Bill Mills is being challenged by Keltie Jones.
The pair have been vocal on numerous issues throughout the campaign including tennis courts, public transportation, taxes and library location.
Mills brings plenty of experience with 28 years on council, the last 15 of which have been spent in the mayor's seat. Jones is a relative newcomer, having moved here with her family just three years ago. But the Bridgewater native is no stranger to civic politics, having served for five years, one of them as president, on a school board that presided over a $65-million budget when she worked in California.
In addition, Truro will feature some spirited ward races where 13 candidates, including three incumbents, are vying for six seats.
There are more than 9,000 eligible voters in the town and heading into today, voter turnout - 37.3 per cent - stood at nearly double the amount of ballots cast four years ago when Mills was acclaimed as mayor.
Truro has gone to an electronic voting only system this year.
In Colchester County, there are 20 candidates vying for the seven council seats up for grabs.
One of the most interesting races is taking place in District 3 where former councillor Hugh Matheson is seeking to regain the seat he vacated four years ago in order to make an unsuccessful run at the mayor's seat.
Matheson is running against incumbent Gerald Buott, Geoff Stewart and Carol Taggart.
Another spirited battle is being waged in District 5 where Lloyd Gibbs, Scott Hagell, George Thomas and David Totten are chasing the seat vacated by Glen Edwards.
Mayor Bob Taylor and the incumbent councillors in districts 1 (Christine Blair), 2 (Bill Masters), 4 (Mike Cooper) and 8 (Ron Cavanaugh) were all returned by acclamation.
There are 28,000 county residents eligible to vote.
In Stewiacke, incumbent deputy mayor Wendy Robinson has also been acclaimed for the mayoral position, but there are 11 candidates, including four incumbents, vying for six council seats.
This has helped boost voter turnout to 32 per cent. There were 100 paper ballots cast in the two advance polls during the last nine days and 191 electronic votes were tallied as of 5 p.m. on Friday.
Here is the complete list of candidates:
TOWN OF TRURO
* Bill Mills
Cheryl Ann Fritz
* Raymond Tynes
* Greg MacArthur
Mayor Bob Taylor and councillors Christine Blair (District 1), Bill Masters (District 2), Mike Cooper (District 4) and Ron Cavanaugh (District 8) returned by acclamation).
* Karen MacKenzie
* Bob White
* Tom Taggart
J. Quinn McCarthy
TOWN OF STEWIACKE
Wendy Robinson acclaimed as mayor
* Debbie Frizzel
* Pam Osborne
* Russel Stoddart
* Tracy Werenka
CHIGNECTO-CENTRAL REGIONAL SCHOOL BOARD
(Note: Districts do not correspond to council districts)
Loretta (Margie) Nicholson (District 4), Keith MacKenzie (District 6), Jim Grue (District 9) returned by acclamation.
* Kaaren Barkhouse
African Nova Scotia seat
* Shirley Robinson-Levering
* denotes incumbent