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Editorial: Voter list

The Division 6 election on Oct. 18 proved the need for Rocky View County to adopt an official voters list.
Airdrie Our View_text

Incidents pertaining to the Division 6 election on Oct. 18 proved the need for Rocky View County to adopt an official voters list.

After scrutineers for candidate Sunny Samra were criticized on social media for taking photos of voters' Form 13 slips at the Indus polling station, Rocky View County's director of legislative services, Amy Zaluski, cleared the air by informing our reporters the scrutineers were not, in fact, breaking any rules by taking photos of voters' names, addresses, or postal codes.

Samra, when asked later why his scrutineers were taking photos of voters' information in the first place, replied they were simply following the directions issued by the County's deputy returning officer in the lead-up to the election. He also said only one of the scrutineers criticized was there on his behalf.

As the winning candidate pointed out, the misunderstanding could probably have been avoided if the County had an official voters' list. However, the previous council directed administration to discontinue the development of a voter identification bylaw during their Sept. 21 meeting, arguing the list would have minimal impact in achieving its intended purpose, beyond what is already legislatively prescribed in the Local Authorities Election Act.

This was despite their unanimous approval of a motion last January for staff to come up with a voter identification bylaw in time for the municipal election.

The topic of a voters' list has come up before in Rocky View County, as previous elections have seen some voters show up without photo ID, and use anything from electrical bills to vehicle insurance papers to prove their address.

There would be many benefits to RVC having an official list of eligible voters. Namely, it would clear up any misconception of which division a resident resides in and tell them which polling station they should vote at on election day.

It may also result in fewer misunderstandings like we saw with the scrutineers in Indus on Oct. 18.

 


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