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Brock Township adopting vote by mail election method

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

BROCK: The Township of Brock is once again adopting vote by mail as their voting method for the 2022 municipal election.

The decision was made at a meeting on Monday, October 4th. Council also decided to have ballots counted by optical scan voting tabulators. Regional Councillor Ted Smith told council members this would be the seventh election where this method has been used in Township of Brock elections.

“We’ve done six [vote by mail elections], and they’ve resulted in very good turnouts. [It’s] usually the best turnout in the Region of Durham,” Councillor Smith said. “Certainly, they’re not perfect. No method is. I think this way has proven to work well in Brock.”

Ward 4 Councillor Cria Pettingill asked if the township has considered possibly allowing Internet voting in a future election.

“Just as any other service, it comes at a cost, and it comes with additional administrative work. I do intend to continue to pursue investigations of online options for future elections in Brock,” clerk Fernando Lamanna stated. “Will internet voting increase [the voter turnout]? Maybe, maybe not. It’s not proven to increase voter turnout. But it does provide a matter of convenience, and enhanced service to some electors [who] wish to choose to vote remotely.”

The clerk added he will consider the Internet option for the 2026 election and will hold a resident poll during the next term of council to see if there’s a will or a wish to move to online voting.

However, Ward 3 Councillor Walter Schummer pointed out that the township has a population that “skews towards seniors.” Thus, he would be hesitant to “go exclusively with internet [voting].”

Ward 2 Councillor Claire Doble said right now it makes sense for the municipality “to go forward with vote by mail.” CAO Ingrid Svelnis concluded “vote by mail works well.”

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