Paper ballot returns for 2014 municipal election

Paper ballots will return to South Dundas in the 2014 municipal election. 

The paper ballot will be in addition to the phone and internet methods that 

In Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, only South Dundas and South Stormont will be using the paper ballot.

South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds said, “going paper is going backwards, but it is wanted.”

Council agreed to the use of a paper ballot, even though it will add to election costs. Additional costs will be related to additional staffing of polling stations and the rental of tabulators for the paper ballots.

“Democracy doesn’t have to be cheap,” said Byvelds. 

According to the council report by clerk Brenda Brunt, the election will cost at least, $28,000, but that number is likely to increase. 

Although council all agreed to the return of the paper ballot, the did not agree with Brunt’s recommendation to offer only one polling station for paper ballots, election day, at the South Dundas Municipal Centre in  Morrisburg.

South Dundas deputy mayor wants a polling station to be offered at four locations, specifically mentioning Matilda Hall. 

Brunt explained that Matilda Hall cannot be offered, because of lack of a secure and reliable internet connection, which is needed to ensure that voters only vote once.

Councillor Evonne Delegarde, suggested a second polling station be set up in Iroquois. 

“If we’re going to do that, then we will do one at Williamsburg too,” said Byvelds.

With that information, Brunt will prepare a new report for council outlining the feasibility and costs of the added paper ballot polling stations.

The phone and internet voting service will be provided this year by SCYTL Canada Inc. This company had the lowest tender amount of $2.26 per elector. This tender was a joint tender with other SDG municipalities.

This is a different company than that used in the last election, which experienced technical difficulties during peak voting, forcing voting deadlines to be extended and creating much confusion. “Do we have a back up plan if the system crashes,” asked Locke. “Yes, it will be part of our procedures this time,” said Brunt.

SCYTL recently handled the Edmonton election without an issues, according to Brunt. 

Intellivote, the company which handled the last election in South Dundas did submit the second lowest bid on the recent tender.

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