Serving Dorchester, Belmont, Thorndale, Thamesford, Putnam, Crampton, Avon, Harrietsville-Mossley and surrounding area

Municipal election

voting underway

Signpost photo by Wendy Spence
Municipal clerk Margaret Alexander (centre) is joined by, from left, executive clerk Tammy Butt, deputy clerk Tena Michiels, administrative assistant/records clerk/social media moderator Jenny Wood and volunteer Steve Rosso to remind residents along the Dorchester Fair parade route to cast their vote in the municipal election by 8 p.m. on voting day, Monday, October 22.
by Wendy Spence
THE SIGNPOST

        Some Thames Centre residents have already selected the individuals they would like to see lead the municipality and school board for the next four years. Voting began online, by phone and at the Voter Help Centre at the municipal office on Monday.
        Residents can vote by phone and online anytime. The Voter Help Centre is open daily through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Monday, October 22, election day, from 8:30 a.m. until the polls close at 8 p.m. in the council chamber at the municipal office, 4305 Hamilton Road. Eligible voters who don’t have a computer can vote by phone or at the internet voting station at the municipal office, as well as by using the computers at the Dorchester and Thorndale libraries during operating hours.
        Voter information letters containing a personal identification number (PIN), which is required to be able to vote, were mailed to residents last month.
        People can find out if they are on the voters’ list by following the link on the municipality’s website or by calling the municipal office at 519-268-7334. According to municipal clerk Margaret Lewis, if people are not on the voters’ list, they need to come to the office to complete an EL15 form and provide proof of identity and residency. “We will then issue a voter instruction letter that contains their PIN. They have the option to vote here at the Voter Help Centre or take their letter home and vote by internet or telephone in their own home or wherever they want. If someone is on the list and somehow did not receive their voter instruction letter, we will issue a new letter and a new PIN. By doing this, the old PIN is automatically disabled.”
        You don’t have to vote all the races on your ballot at one time uninterrupted. You can disconnect from the internet or the telephone and reconnect later, re-enter your PIN and complete voting at that time. If you find it more convenient, you can switch from one method to the other and complete your voting using the other method. For example, you can start your voting on the internet and at some point close your internet session, and then later re-start the voting process and re-enter your PIN using your phone or cellphone and complete your ballot.
        During the voting period you can connect to the voting system and enter your PIN. If you have yet to complete all ballots assigned to you, the system will begin where you left off - at the next race you are eligible to complete. When you have completed voting all ballots assigned to you, entering your PIN online in the voting system during the voting period will display a message containing your vote status. This message will advise if you have completed voting. You can also contact the Voter Help Line to get more information.
        The voter instruction letter lists the candidates for your reference. Each time the system presents you with a race to vote for; it lists the eligible candidates running for that position and instructs you to select the corresponding number for that candidate. You may also clear your ballot selections and start over.
        Once a vote has been confirmed it cannot be changed. This process is the same as dropping the ballot into the ballot box in a traditional paper based election, ensuring complete voter anonymity and secrecy of the ballot. The system does not know how the ballot was voted; only that the PIN was used in the election to cast a vote and therefore it cannot be removed from the vote count.
        The Intelivote system that is being used ensures that every voter’s voting experience is both secret and secure, according to the municipality’s website. Similar to the paper voting experience, the electronic voting process disassociates the voter’s identity from the cast ballot when it is “deposited” into the system. The system takes the encrypted ballot information from the voter’s internet or phone vote and creates a voter receipt similar to the ballot receipt detached from a paper ballot when it is marked and returned to the voting official in the paper voting example. The encrypted ballot is randomly inserted into the “electronic ballot box,” severing the relationship between the voter and the ballot and the receipt is the mechanism that ensures the ballot was successfully recorded in the system.
        This combination of processes coupled with the security of the system results in the trusted and secure status of the system.
        For more information about the election and voting process, including videos on how to vote, candidate profiles and contact information, etc., visit thamescentre.on.ca or call the municipal office at 519-268-7334.
        Those eligible to vote will be able to vote for: a mayor, deputy mayor, a councillor in their ward (with the exception of Ward 1, in which Tom Heeman was acclaimed), and school board trustees (Mary Wolfs has been acclaimed as London District Catholic School Board trustee).
        The unofficial election results will be published on the Municipality of Thames Centre website and Facebook page on election night.

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