SOUTH DUNDAS – The municipal election voting period opened Wednesday, and already it looks like about 15 per cent of eligible voters in South Dundas have exercised that right. As of 9:30 a.m. October 19th, 1,346 people had cast their ballot online, or in-person at the advanced polls.
In the last municipal election voter turnout was 51 per cent, which was down from the previous election (53 per cent), and the election before that (59 per cent).
In my research to prepare for election night, October 22nd, I had a look back at what I reported from the last municipal election in 2014, and found it really interesting, so I thought I‘d share a little of this blast from the past with you.
On October 27, 2014, Evonne Delegarde was elected South Dundas’ first female mayor.
Her win over then incumbent mayor Steven Byvelds was resounding, accumulating 2,807 votes over Byvelds’ 1,388.
Delegarde’s win meant that she would be moving from the councillor chair to the head of the table.
On election night 2014, she said, “I’ve worked really hard over the last four years to earn this position.”
Before the results came in at 11:20 p.m. Delegarde had opted to go to the Iroquois Legion where a group of her supporters were gathered and awaited the results with them.
That night all of the candidates who had gathered at the South Dundas Municipal Centre in Morrisburg to await the results, had an excruciatingly long wait when results were delayed by over three hours because the company delivering results found an anomaly and had to conduct a manual audit to ensure the integrity of the election.
Deputy mayor Jim Locke was re-elected in a three way race with Del Jones and Carl Matthews-McIntyre.
Locke won with 1,900 votes compared to Jones’ 1,344 and McIntyre’s 892.
“I’m not surprised by the results,” said Locke upon his re-election. “I didn’t work hard at campaigning, I just let the people decide.”
In 2014, Marc St. Pierre was the newcomer who led the polls receiving 2,104 votes. “We do have some issues to deal with,” he said. “I’m confident that those elected can deal with them.”
Bill Ewing, after seeking election as deputy mayor in the previous election and losing to Robert Gillard, won his way back to the council table in the 2014 election as councillor. He received 1,813 votes. On election night in 2014 he said, “It’s time for change. We should have a good crew here, so let’s get at it.”
The final councillor seat in 2014 went to Archie Mellan, who was re-elected with just 15 votes more than the next closest contender. Mellan received 1,328 votes. “I’m looking forward to another challenging and exciting four years,” he said adding that he was sad to see Steven Byvelds and Jim Graham both defeated.
In 2014, 53 per cent of those who voted did so by using the internet. Twenty-five percent chose to vote in person, with the other 22 per cent chose to vote by telephone.
For the 2018 election, the only methods of voting being uses are internet and in-person by composite ballot.