More on mail-in voting

In my commentary 4-2 of last evening I said that council agenda item10.5/    By-law 15-2014 regarding mail-in voting was “not a real issue”.

I would like to change my assessment to “moderate concern”.

In her January 22 report, Clerk Cathrae recommended updating policy CO 13.2 to remove references to the 2010 election.  She did not recommend removal of mail -in voting.  In fact she left these words in the policy:

 “Electors will vote by using the vote by mail method”.

But there was a second decision.  That was whether to leave the amended policy CO13.2 in the policy manual or remove it from the policy manual and just keep it as an informal clerk’s policy.  The Clerk made it clear that council had a choice.  On January 22 council chose the latter, namely to remove policy CO 3.2 from the policy manual and have it only as a Clerk’s policy.  There was no dicussion of the matter on January 22 – council just chose.

I now think that was the wrong choice.  If CO 3.2 becomes just a Clerk’s policy, it will not be visible to the residents like it would be if it stayed in the policy manual (which is on-line). And if it is no longer in the policy manual, any future changes might not be so apparent to residents.  The policy, and any future changes, would become less visible, and less transparent.  For the sake of openness and transparency, an for resident peace-of-mind, the amended policy CO 3.2 should remain in the policy manual. This means that by law 15-2014 needs to be defeated or amended.


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