By Mike Anderson
The Town of Georgina has no plans to cancel online voting, despite some voters receiving duplicate Voter Information Letters (VIL).
According to the Town, the letters were mailed out to all voters on September 26.
Each letter contains a unique pin and a website address, allowing voters to vote online from October 8 to 23.
According to the Town’s Clerk Division, a data error is responsible for the foul-up.
“Municipalities receive their voter lists from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), and due to an issue in transferring the MPAC data to those lists, some Ontario residents, including some in Georgina, have received two VILs,” the statement, issued on October 7, reads.
“While this is not unique in the municipal election process, there may be a greater number of these occurrences in this election.”
The Post spoke with one voter who said he had received duplicate VILs, each with a different pin, even though he had lived in the same address for the past fifty years.
Still, it is impossible to determine how many voters are affected, as the Town has not provided information on how many duplicate letters were issued.
According to a Town spokesperson, the issue of duplicate VILs is impacting municipalities across the province, and it has no plans to terminate its online voting option.
“As in every municipal election, the Town has taken all steps available to it to cleanse the voter list,” said Tanya Thompson, the Town of Georgina’s Manager of Communications, in an email to the Post.
“In addition, the Town posts the statutory provisions for preventing corrupt practices and other offences, as prescribed by the Municipal Elections Act, at all physical voting locations.”
“It is also displayed in declaration form when a voter votes online. The voter must agree to the requirements by accepting the statement of eligibility when voting online. As is always the case, the onus is on the voter to vote in accordance with the law. It is an offence under the Municipal Elections Act to vote more than once.”
Several municipalities, like Halton Hills, were made aware of the problem in mid-September, posting notices on their official websites.
Still, it’s unclear why the Town of Georgina waited until October 7 to post its notice, the day before online voting.
If you receive a duplicate VIL, The Town wants you to bring the letter that matches your identification to an in-person poll to vote.
According to the Town, you can dispose of the duplicate or post it, marked “Duplicate Return to Sender,” in any Canada Post mailbox. You can also bring it to the poll and give it to an election official.
For poll locations, visit: www.georgina.ca/municipal-government/2022-election
- Opinion: Town’s budget process promotes spending, not savings - November 29, 2023
- Local boxer ranked 4th in the world fights at Pickering Casino Resort on Dec 2 - November 22, 2023
- Local cafe owners offer free hot meals to those who can’t afford them - November 21, 2023