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.
The City is embracing online and telephone voting for the first time, using a third party partner, Dominion Voting. So far, she says, it has received “mixed reviews.”
“People find change a challenge sometimes,” she points out, and says that’s mostly with the 10-11 per cent of voters who are using the telephone to cast their ballots. Since there are no visual cues in that case, it’s easier to get confused by the options.
“For the online voting specifically we’ve had great feedback,” she says, with people commenting how easy the process is.
The City is also expected to do outreach to long-term care homes where there are 50 or more beds and at the hospital if there are more than 20 palliative beds. That is going well, she says, with most seniors enjoying voting on an iPad for the first time.
She says although there have been some concerns with security, she points out that elections have never had a “perfect method.” She says years ago people were able to vote “by proxy” in paper ballot elections. If someone said they weren’t going to be around during the election they could ask someone else to vote on their behalf which opens up all kinds of potential irregularities.
In other examples, mail-in ballots were also deemed to be inferior in years’ past because of issues that could go wrong with the mail.
Voters may vote right up until the end of election day, which is by 8 pm on Monday, Oct. 22. Contact the city clerk, or the elections office at City Hall, 26 Francis Street in Lindsay at 705-324-9411 ext. 1888 for any voting questions.