Many mail-in ballots being rejected

FORT FRANCES—While a total of 2,400 mail-in ballots had been received by the Town of Fort Frances as of Monday afternoon, returning officers are finding too many are coming back without signed declarations.
“There’s quite a few,” assistant returning officer Lori Pattison said, referring to the ballots that have come in so far that did not contain these voter declaration forms—and subsequently had to be rejected.
Pattison noted if any eligible voters believe they sent in their ballots without the signed declaration form, they should contact the town to get a new voting kit.
However, those that do so must produce the voter declaration form they originally had failed to include with their original ballot as proof they even received a kit in the first place.
Pattison also noted that about 300 mail-in ballot packages have been returned to the town because they were mailed out to voters who did not check the voters’ list and were sent to a wrong address.
A minority of these also belonged to deceased residents.
Pattison stressed if any eligible voters have not yet got their kit in the mail, they should check in with the town as they probably didn’t check the voters’ list and either they had their information wrong on it and their kit was sent to the wrong address, or they weren’t on it at all and were never sent one.
Either way, they can fill out a form to correct that information and receive a voting kit.
“We want everybody that can vote to vote,” stressed Pattison.
Election staff have been working since Friday, opening the yellow envelopes to check and see if they contained voter declarations forms. Those that do have had the corresponding voters’ names marked off the voters’ list while those that don’t have been rejected.
But the white ballot envelopes (or “secrecy envelopes”) that are part of the mail-in voting kits will not be opened until Nov. 13, at which time the ballots will be electronically tabulated.
Those voters who have not mailed or personally brought in their ballots yet can bring them to the Civic Centre up until 8 p.m. on Nov. 13. There will be staff on hand to accept ballots during business hours each day, or you can put them in the drop slot at the main door after hours.
While the rest of the services at the Civic Centre will be closed this Friday (Nov. 10) to observe Remembrance Day, it will remain open for voting purposes.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)