Mail-in ballots pondered

Eligible voters outside the community should be able to vote in civic elections through mail-in ballots, council members say.

Eligible voters outside the community should have the opportunity to participate in civic elections through mail-in ballots, municipal council members say.

“The option should be there for any election in the community,” Coun. Peter Waterman said during a discussion on mail-in ballots at the council meeting on Monday evening.

“Regardless of numbers, people should have the ability and capacity to participate in the election.”

Others offered similar thoughts, suggesting options such as electronic voting be considered in the future.

“It’s time we got into the real world here,” said Coun. Martin Van Alphen.

At present, mail-in ballots are offered in some communities, but not in Summerland.

Municipal administrator Tom Day said efforts to prepare mail-in ballots are significant and there is a short time frame for the work to be completed. “I’m not sure how much benefit we’d get out of it,” he said.

In the last municipal election in 2011, voter turnout was low, with just 36.1 per cent of Summerland’s 8,276 eligible voters participating. In the 2008 municipal election, the voter turnout was close to 47 per cent.

Concern about mail-in ballots was raised in part because some electors are away for the winter by the time the election is held in mid-November. After this fall’s municipal elections, the election date will be in October, before many of the snowbirds have left for the season.

In the end, a change to mail-in ballots was not adopted and council voted to give final reading to the 2014 General Local Government Election bylaw.

Coun. Peter Waterman voted against the bylaw adoption. He said his position was a protest vote.

“Electors should have the option to vote,” he said.


Just Posted

Latimer surveyed much of Summerland

Civil engineer was also responsible of community’s irrigation system

RDOS to study sites for composting facility

Penticton and Okanagan Falls landfills will be examined

Summerland grocery store offers warm atmosphere, community service

Nesters Market has been involved in numerous initiatives within Summerland

Codling moths remain a problem for Okanagan apple growers

Problem areas for pest include Summerland, Penticton and Naramata

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen works to control mosquito populations

Control efforts in the region have been starting earlier each year

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Okanagan and Shuswap blossom at Communities in Bloom awards

District of Sicamous, City of Armstrong double winners at B.C. awards gala; Lumby also a winner

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Internet speed testing implemented in the CSRD

Test results will be tracked to find areas where improvement is needed.

Former South Okanagan resident found dead in Alberta

Candace Deleeuw was reported missing Sept. 16

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Caught on Camera: Boat catches fire at Okanagan marina

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, no injuries were reported as a result of the blaze

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Most Read