Check voter list for municipal election: Treftlin

If you’re not on the list, you can’t vote. It’s as simple as that.
With the municipal election coming up Nov. 13, and the town having opted to use a vote-by-mail system for a third election, that’s the message Fort Frances Clerk Glenn Treftlin is sending to residents.
Eligible voters can find out this information, as well as whether their address is correct and whether they’re designated to vote for public or separate school board trustees, by checking out the lists located at the Civic Centre, Memorial Sports Centre, and Fort Frances Public Library.
“We strongly encourage the voters to look at the list and check to see if it has their correct name, mailing address, qualifying address, and school support,” Treftlin said in an interview yesterday.
If there is a problem, people can get an application to make that change (whatever it may be), fill it out, and turn it in to Treftlin.
These amendment forms are available at the same three locations the lists are.
Treftlin noted he has have to have all the right information sent into the company—DataFix—so they can get the ballots printed and mail-out packages ready.
He said some voters on the list may have two separate addresses—a qualifying address and a mailing address—such as in the case of “snowbirds” or students who may live outside Fort Frances during the school year.
Treftlin said another thing to look for is if a voter is on the list more than once—for instance, under their full name and then again under their initials.
They should have it corrected so they just receive one mail-in package.
Treftlin stressed people only can vote once anyway, and that it’s a punishable offence under the Municipal Act to do otherwise. This can carry a fine of $5,000.
Treftlin said he must submit all the correct info to DataFix, which is in charge of the mail-in voting, by Oct. 11, so he would like to have it in to him in the next few weeks.
He added he’s already gotten back a half-dozen or so correction forms so far but is concerned not enough people are checking the preliminary voter lists, thus jeopardizing the potential number of eligible voters.
DataFix is expected to mail out the voting packages the week of Oct. 23.
These packages include a ballot, a white privacy envelope, and a larger, yellow envelope which is postage paid if mailed in Canada.
Treftlin noted the greatest advantage to mail-in voting isn’t so much financial as it is practical as it gives you more opportunity to vote. With the provincial and federal elections, voters get three days to vote—the two advance polls and voting day.
With the mail-in system, voters can send their ballots in as soon as they get them—even several weeks before election day.
While Canada Post has vowed to have all the mail-in ballots in its system delivered to the town by Nov. 13, Treftlin recommended that voters don’t mail in ballots after Nov. 3 if they don’t have to.
Treftlin said the turnout for the last election in November, 2003 was better than in 2000 and he expects an equally good—or even better—one this fall.
(The voter turnout in 2003 was about 60 percent, compared to
49 percent in 2000. The total number of eligible voters in Fort Frances is about 6,600).
In 2003, most of the votes arrived via the mail as opposed to the 2000 election, where 2,333 of the ballots came that way while the balance of 1,048 were dropped off in person.
For those who still wish to vote in person, Treftlin noted that starting Nov. 6 and running until election day (Nov. 13), there will be staff at the Civic Centre to take in their ballots.
Those who do vote this way, however, still must follow procedure and fill out the mail-in package as if they were sending it in the post.
In related news, the Town of Fort Frances will continue to accept nominations until the Sept. 29 deadline.
These offices include mayor, six councillors, two Rainy River District School Board trustees, and three Northwest Catholic District School Board trustees, as well as one French language public school board trustee and one French language separate school board trustee for respective regional boards.
The election of a Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board for the unincorporated area of Rainy River Central also is being managed by Fort Frances election officials.
Nominations must be filed with Treftlin or assistant returning officer Lori Pattison by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29. The cost is $200 for mayor and $100 for all other offices.