Steady stream asking for new voter kits

FORT FRANCES—The Civic Centre wasn a busy place Friday with voters either checking to see that they had submitted their ballots correctly or asking for a new kit because they had neglected to include the signed declaration form the first time.
“There’s been a steady flow of people getting new kits today. It’s great,” assistant returning officer Lori Pattison noted late Friday morning.
She said the fact the town altered its policy to allow those who voted incorrectly to get a replacement ballot—without needing the original declaration form—has had a positive impact on the number of people coming in to vote correctly.
“Lots of people are aware and are checking to see if they’re on the [voters’] list. We’ve been very busy,” added Pattison.
“Hopefully, this will mean a significant change in the number of rejected ballots.”
Earlier this week, the number of rejected ballots topped 18 percent—or almost one in five.
Pattison said more than 3,300 ballots had been turned in to the town as of Friday morning, whether via the mail or hand-delivered.
Those who have not yet completed and returned their ballots should heed the following instructions:
•Make sure you sign the voter declaration form included in the kit (this form is located on the back of the voting instruction page).
•After filling out your ballot, put it in the white secrecy envelope.
•Then put the white secrecy envelope, as well as the signed voter declaration form, inside the yellow return envelope.
•Return that yellow envelope to the Civic Centre as it’s now too late to mail it in.
Election staff will be accepting ballots at the Civic Centre until 4:30 p.m. on Friday and again on Monday until 8 p.m., when the results will be tallied.
Voters also can put their ballots in the drop slot at the main door over the weekend.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)