What do you think about voting over the phone in the next municipal election?

·2 min read

Your voice matters.

Despite being more than a year away, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent is looking to get input from residents regarding voting in the next municipal election.

The municipality has launched an 11 question online survey, which will focus on what voting methods residents would prefer to see in the fall of 2022. Options include:

- Paper ballots at a polling station.

- Internet voting.

- Mail-in ballots or voting by phone.

Residents are asked general information about age, the ward in which they live and whether they usually vote.

Opinions are sought on the respondents’ concerns about the security of various voting methods and whether they feel they will be adequately informed about voting requirements and procedures.

“We’re always looking at ways to make it easier for people to participate in municipal elections,” said Judy Smith, Director of Municipal Governance for Chatham-Kent. “We want to present options and see if the public is interested and comfortable with doing things differently or if they’re happy with the current methods.”

Those taking the survey do not have to register to do so, and no personal identifying information needs to be provided. Comments will be accepted until March 23.

Results of the survey will be presented to council for consideration.

A total of 34,722 residents (45 percent of those eligible) voted in the 2018 election. According to Mayor Darrin Canniff, he is hoping to create a simple voting process.

“We’re asking for the phone voting and various things like that to give easy access for people,” said Canniff. “We would love to see more people voting. It is one of our democratic rights that a lot of places in the world don’t have. It’s very important we get people voting because it has a lot of influence over a four-year period for someone’s life.”

A link to the survey can be found at https://www.letstalkchatham-kent.ca/election-2022?tool=survey_tool#tool_tab. The 2022 election will be held Monday, October 24 of that year.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News