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Let’s have ranked ballots in time for next election

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Let's have ranked ballots in time for next election
I suggest, that while we are looking at how we vote, we look at how we choose the winners: It’s time for preferential voting in the CKL.

Talking about the next municipal election right after the most recent one is like talking about alcohol the day after a big party: For some people, even the mere mention brings discomfort.

But I would argue now is the exact time that we as citizens — with and through our elected officials — should be talking about it. Let’s face it — the most recent election raised a couple important issues: how we vote in the first place, and how we can get consensus in our wards.

How do we want to vote?

Most citizens who bothered to vote (or perhaps tried to vote, in our case) are aware that, like 48 other municipalities, the City of Kawartha Lakes’ election had to be extended an additional 24 hours because of technical problems with the company hired to administer our online-and-phone-only election, Dominion Voting. (Dominion Voting originally reported the problem affected 51 municipalities but has since reduced that number to 49).

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City provides clarification on election night events; James says process still troubles him

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City provides clarification on election night events; James says process still troubles him

The City of Kawartha Lakes has provided a written response to members of the media — and at least one candidate — over what some thought were potential irregularities about the voting process on election night. But Candidate Gord James, who was present that evening, is not satisfied with the response — especially about the role played by scrutineers.

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Breaking: Gord James says handling of election process ‘doesn’t pass the smell test’

in Around Town/Community/Local News by
Mayoral Candidate Gord James.

The campaign team of mayoral candidate Gord James has written a letter to the City Clerk requesting to see the original election data from Dominion Voting for the City of Kawartha Lakes municipal election results.

The team has also asked for an official response as to why the results were tabulated/received by City election staff without the candidates’ scrutineers present.

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Letham wins: City votes to stay the course

in Around Town/Community/Local News by
Mayor Andy Letham wins again. Photo: Erin Smith.

In the end, the City of Kawartha Lakes voted for stability, as embodied in the leader they already knew. Andy Letham pulled out a victory with 11, 435 votes. Gord James, the former councillor who was always assumed to be Letham’s greatest challenger to overcome, came in second with 9,878 votes.

Brian Junkin was a distant third with 2,724 and Peter Weygang captured 1,007 votes in unofficial results.

James ran a highly visible campaign. He clearly won the ‘sign war’ across the City, dominating early in that regard. He was visible, amiable, and congenial, always.

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Election extended — here’s what we know

in Around Town/Columnists/Community by
Pat O'Reilly, left, Charlie Clark, right. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Last night at around 7 p.m., the City of Kawartha Lakes Clerk, Cathie Ritchie — invoking powers given to her role under the Elections Act as the clerk of this municipal election — declared an ‘emergency’ and extended the election. Voting was to have ended by Monday Oct. 22 at 8 pm. Voting has now been extended until today (Tuesday Oct. 23) at 8 pm. All methods of voting (online, telephone, online in-person at select City locations) has been extended.

In a press release released last night, the City described the reason for the extraordinary measure as follows: “Due to the volume of voters casting their electronic ballots this evening, the system continues to run slower than expected.

Further investigation by The Lindsay Advocate has revealed that the delay had nothing really to do with the number of voters, but rather technical systems that Dominion Voting uses — the company hired to administer this election.  

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Gord James ‘recommends’ candidate Ashmore, but doesn’t endorse

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Is there a difference between recommend and endorse?

The Lindsay Advocate began our coverage of the election with a popular eight-page spread in our print edition, highlighting some of the positions held by the four mayoral candidates. For the record, all four candidates were very generous with their time and all of them met every deadline we asked of them. We did not endorse any candidate and we wish them all, on the eve of this election, success.

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Get out and vote: About 12,500 voters have cast ballots so far

in Around Town/Community by

About 19 per cent of eligible voters have cast a ballot so far in this year’s municipal election in the City of Kawartha Lakes. City Clerk Cathie Ritchie says, as of Friday morning, that 12,534 people have cast their vote out of an eligible pool of 67,188 voters.

Ritchie wasn’t phased by these numbers, though, saying she believes “most people like to wait to vote on election day” even though the City has been trumpeting “10 days and 2 ways” to vote this year.

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Well, you can’t say this is a boring election

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Believe it or not, there are some smaller municipalities in Ontario where the municipal election is no big deal. We now have less than a week to vote in what is turning out to be a very interesting election. Despite the ugly and annoying bits, this is still a good thing.

There are 444 municipalities in Ontario, and according to the Association of Ontario Municipalities (AMO), 120 municipalities have had their head of council (mayor, reeve, etc) acclaimed in this election. These numbers are up from the last municipal election. Of the 3,273 municipal positions up for grabs this election, 536 have been acclaimed. Journalists from several media outlets are fretting the state of democracy itself.

Thankfully — with the exception of the various school board positions — this is not the case in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

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A voter’s dilemma: Ideas or candidate?

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Recently, I cast my votes for ward councillor and mayor of the City of Kawartha Lakes, and did so online for the first time.

This is my first municipal election in Kawartha Lakes because I moved here in July, 2016 after the last election. Before voting, I faced a conundrum as to how I would vote. Ideally, I would prefer to vote for a person who I assessed to be the best candidate with the best ideas, but they don’t always come in the same package. My dilemma, then, was whether to ‘vote candidate’ or ‘vote ideas.’ I did both.

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