Town to keep close tab on voters’ list

FORT FRANCES—Town council agreed Monday night to utilize a voter database to keep the municipal voters’ list in order between now and the 2010 election.
In a report to council, clerk Glenn Treftlin noted the service called Data Fix Municipal Voter View (MVV), which was used during the 2003 and 2006 elections, now is being made available to municipalities between election years.
“This will allow for updating of voters’ information on an ongoing basis at our option, so during the election year, one is not faced with such a monumental task of correcting four years of changes to reflect persons who have deceased, moved in or out of town, or have become eligible or ineligible to vote during the years in between the elections,” said Treftlin.
“One of our greatest challenges will be to find a way to convince the voters of the importance for them to check the list we will keep on display at the Civic Centre,” he added.
“We will, as well, utilize as many other sources of information to make revisions to the list as are necessary to generate an accurate a list as possible for the 2010 election.”
In the past two municipal elections, the MVV voter database has allowed the town to establish information initially prepared by the Municipal Property Assessment Corp. (MPAC) and to correct online the information based on applications submitted by voters and based on other sources of information available to the town.
Treftlin noted this has worked better than previous elections, where all voter revision entries had to be manually entered on a hard copy preliminary list prepared by MPAC—a process he called “very labour intensive” and which “did not provide for a good audit trail of revisions to the list of voter.”
But under MVV, the list is maintained in electronic format, revisions are entered by authorized persons only, and results can be checked instantaneously.
Revisions are archived, and identify the person making the revisions and the source of information utilized.
Mayor Roy Avis asked Treftlin if this will help correct some serious issues encountered in the last election back in November, such as residents getting more than one ballot in their name?
“Our intention is not to rely as much on information from MPAC,” noted Treftlin. “In the future, we’ll scrutinize that information very closely. It’s up to us to take their information or not.
“In the past, we’ve taken it at ‘face value,’” he noted. “In the future, we’ll use the revised voters’ list and any other information provided by voters.”
Coun. Tannis Drysdale noted this agreement does not mean the town automatically will go with mail-in ballots again next election, as that decision will be decided by council closer to 2010.
“This is just to keep the voters’ list in order and make changes that we can see instantaneously,” assured Treftlin.
Council ended up agreeing to utilize the Data Fix MVV at a cost of $3,500 ($875 each year for 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010).
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•approved a charity rebate application from Family and Children’s Services in the amount of $20,903.02 (this is for the 2006 tax year);
•declined to authorize a $3,500 financial contribution to Crescive Corp. for a skills and trades expo here May 17;
•declined a financial request from Brown Cow Promotions to advertise in the Fort Frances and District Spring Visitors’ Guide;
•approved a financial request from Fort Frances High School to place an ad in the 2007 yearbook at a cost of $100;
•declined a request to take part in 2007 Pitch-In Canada Week (April 23-27) on the basis no other organization has stepped forward to spearhead the event; and
•received minutes of settlement for properties at 1041 Walker Ave., 1515 Frog Creek Rd., Island G734 (Plan 48R3592 Part 2), 501 Armit Ave., Minnie Avenue (Plan SM141 N 1/2 BLK E PCL 9668), and 519 Second St. E.