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Grey county rejects TBM mayor’s voters list resolution

Mayor Alar Soever wanted the county to request all municipalities provide a voters list with mailing addresses to each election candidate
Grey County 1
The Grey County building.

Grey County council turned down a request from The Blue Mountains Mayor Alar Soever’s to give election candidates access to full voters list information.

At its meeting on June 23, county council overwhelmingly rejected a resolution from The Blue Mountains that requests that all municipalities provide election candidates with voters lists that include full mailing addresses.

The Blue Mountains council passed the resolution in May and circulated it to all municipalities, the province and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Soever explained that his concern about the matter arose when he discovered that some municipalities provide voters lists which don’t include mailing addresses. He said this can be problematic for candidates in communities with a significant population of part-time residents.

“It’s not so easy to reach voters who have a primary address outside the municipality,” said Soever. “It becomes a huge problem for candidates when they’re trying to reach voters.”

The TBM resolution came to county council and was initially ticketed to be received by the county for information. CAO Kim Wingrove explained the county level does not conduct elections and therefore the resolution is not within the county’s jurisdiction.

“We felt it was most appropriate to take up for discussion in your own home municipalities. It’s not something the county is involved in,” she said.

However, Soever requested the resolution be brought forward and considered by council. He noted that Grey County has hosted candidate information sessions and has some limited involvement in the election process.

The resolution did not generate much enthusiasm around the council table and was rejected in a 54-18 recorded vote.

“I get enough junk mail,” commented Southgate Mayor John Woodbury.

Before the vote, Soever noted that the information on the voters list is generated from the tax rolls, which are all publicly available for anybody to inspect. He also said there are strict rules in place for how candidates use the information.

“The fact is, the information is available at any town hall for anybody to go look at,” said Soever.

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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