Thursday, December 18, 2014

Be sure to check voters’ list: town

While the Oct. 27 municipal election may seem distant, the town soon will be asking electors to make sure they’re eligible to vote.
Starting next week, the preliminary list of electors will posted at the Civic Centre and the Fort Frances Public library, as well as on the town’s website at www.fort-frances.com

Voters are urged to look up their voter information and, if changes are necessary, contact the town as soon as possible.
Returning officer Glenn Treftlin stressed voters should check these lists to find out if their mailing address is correct, and whether they’re designated to vote for public or separate school board trustees.
Voters also can check to see if they’re on the list more than once (voters are entitled to be on the list once only).
If there is an issue, or if electors are not on the list at all (i.e., new residents who have moved here since the 2010 election), the town will have forms available to get that information corrected.
Inquiries can be directed to Treftlin or Kathy Lawson at 274-5373.
The aim is to have the list of electors finalized by the end of this month.
Treftlin noted the municipal election once again will feature a vote-by-mail system, which has been used here since the 2000 election.
“Vote-by-mail has definitely worked for us,” he said. “It increased the voter turnout and that sort of thing.”
Treftlin added this election’s ballot also will include a plebiscite question as to whether Fort Frances should be considered as a possible site for a casino.
Electors will start receiving their ballots during the first full week of October.
Treftlin said if any group is planning to hold a candidates’ debate or forum, he advises them to hold it prior to electors getting their ballots.
Once voters receive their voting kits in the mail, Treftlin said they can fill out and mail in their ballots any time prior to Oct. 27.
They also can return them to the Civic Centre in person.
Treftlin also stressed that if voters know they will be out of town in October, and so not be home to receive their mail-in ballot here, they can have their ballot sent to them wherever they’re residing at the time.
They just have to contact the town and have their ballot sent to their out-of-town address.
Once they get it, they can then fill out their ballot and mail it back to the town in time for the election.
On election day, voters will have until 8 p.m. to vote in person at the Civic Centre.
The town once again will be utilizing an electronic tabulator to tally votes, meaning election results likely will be known shortly after 8 p.m. on Oct. 27.
No candidates yet
Of course, an election might not be necessary if people don’t file their nominations.
As of yesterday, no one has put their name in yet to run for Fort Frances council, or the Fort Frances seats on the Rainy River District School Board and Northwest Catholic District School Board.
The same is true for the seat representing the Rainy River Central unincorporated area on the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board.
Anyone interested in running for mayor, town council, the two school boards, or as the Rainy River Central rep must file their papers at the Civic Centre prior to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12.
For more information, refer to the ad on page A7 of last week’s Times or drop by the Civic Centre.
While it is not unusual for prospective candidates to not file their nominations until just before the deadline, it’s possible not enough people will put their names in to run.
If not enough people file their names to run for all six seats on council by Sept. 12, for example, nominations will be re-opened for a period in an effort to try and get more candidates, explained Treftlin.
If just enough candidates file their names to run for the positions, they’ll be acclaimed.
If there are more candidates than positions, there will be an election. If there are fewer, another election will be have to be called.
The first day of the new council term will be Dec. 1.
Municipal terms are for four years.

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