But can only
vote with one
Voter kits were sent out last week to Fort Frances residents eligible to vote for school board trustees in the Oct. 25 election.
But while some people may have received more than one, it doesn’t mean they can vote twice.
Clerk Glenn Treftlin, who is the returning officer for the municipal election, said Friday that people who are both town residents and own property in an unincorporated area likely received two voter kits—one from the town and one from their affiliated school board (public or separate).
He explained the town is responsible for having its voter kits sent to town residents while the school boards are responsible for those living in unincorporated areas.
As such, people who live in Fort Frances but also own property in an unincorporated area, such as a cabin on Rainy Lake, probably received two kits.
“They’re legally qualified to vote from where they reside at, so they should be completing our kit,” noted Treftlin.
“What I am suggesting to those that phone is they should return the unused kit back to the school board,” he added.
Electors only are eligible to vote once for each candidate under the Municipal Elections Act, Laura Mills, superintendent of business for the Rainy River District School Board, stressed in a press release.
“If you received a vote-by-mail kit from the Rainy River District School Board and the municipality in which you reside in the Rainy River District, for the same trustee election, you are only to return the ballot for the municipality,” she noted.
“If the elector municipality is running a polling station, electors are to vote only at the polling station, and not return the vote-by-mail kit from the school board, if the election is for the same office,” Mills added.
Treftlin admitted he was surprised to learn Friday some local residents were getting two voter kits.
“MPAC generated the lists,” he said. “If anybody should know somebody residing in Fort Frances has a summer cottage in an unincorporated area within the same school board jurisdiction, MPAC should know that.”
He stressed the school boards aren’t to blame—they’re just sending out the voter kits according to the list MPAC gave them.
“The 2010 election of school board trustees, public or separate, in the unorganized areas of Rainy River District is being completed by vote-by-mail,” noted Mills. “The mailing of two vote-by-mail kits, one from the board and one from the municipality, could not be avoided due to the way MPAC produces voter notification lists.”
As previously reported, there will be an election for both school boards in Fort Frances.
Incumbents Dan Belluz and Terry Higgins, along with newcomer Dave Kircher, are running for the two town seats on the Rainy River District School Board.
Meanwhile, incumbents Paul Cousineau, Anne-Marie Fitzgerald, and Harold Huntley are vying for the two Fort Frances seats on the Northwest Catholic District School Board.
(The Catholic board reduced the number of Fort Frances seats from three to two earlier this year, explaining why three incumbents are running for two seats).
Voters can fill out their voter kits according to instructions, and return their ballots anytime between now and 8 p.m. on Oct. 25.
If eligible voters do not receive their kits by the middle of this week, they should check the voters’ list, which is available at the Civic Centre, Memorial Sports Centre, and the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre until Oct. 25.
It’s possible they’re on the list, but under a different mailing address.
If a voting kit has been sent to an elector’s old address, it will be returned to the Civic Centre and that elector will be able to get it there.
Electors can contact Treftlin or assistant returning officer Lori Pattison at the Civic Centre (274-5323) to find out if their kits have been returned, or to answer any other election-related questions.