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 An open letter released today claims that the voting list used in the Municipal Election omits “a significant number of voters”.   Lydia Smith sent an open letter to the current Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Councillors, all candidates for mayor, deputy mayor, council, and news outlets in Cobourg saying that she is “deeply concerned about the fairness of voter representation (and hence the results) in the Town of Cobourg election taking place tomorrow, October 27, 2014.”  The primary concern is that many voters had not received PIN numbers as of October 25th and of these, “a disproportionate number seemed to be tenants and seniors who rent; namely, people who are not property owners”.

The cause seems to be that:

“… Intellivote, the contractor hired to run the electronic/telephone voting process, got their voting list from MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation). To be included on the voter list, landlords need to provide an update of their tenant(s) to MPAC.”

But this is either not done or not done on time.  As a result:

“Many are feeling disenfranchised as they have to make a special effort to get a PIN number to vote.”

Ms. Smith wonders if this is part of the reason voter turnout has been low when using this process. 

You can download her complete letter here.  It will likely be published as a letter to the editor in local papers – but due to her timing, quite possibly after the election. However, she is not asking for action before the election.  She seems to be making this point before the results are published to avoid accusations of sour grapes.


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