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New Tecumseth council reviews 2022 municipal election

May 11, 2023   ·   0 Comments

Council receives review of 2022 municipal election

By Brian Lockhart

New Tecumseth Council recently received a report reviewing the 2022 municipal and school board election.

The report states that voter turnout in New New Tecumseth was above the provincial average, with 1,203 more people voting in the 2022 election than voted in the previous election of 2018. New Tecumseth ran the largest election in South Simcoe with 123 election workers in addition to the clerk and bylaw office staff needed to facilitate the election.

Voter turnout was 33.67 per cent, with 10,708 voters casting a ballot. The average voter turnout across Ontario was 32 per cent.

While the report said there were challenges concerning election worker recruitment and retention, successes were achieved in candidate information sessions, election team engagement, and commitment to achieving high election standards.

The municipality had to re-post the advertisement for election workers several times to garner enough workers for polling locations, and several additional sessions were held to train election workers.

The election had a dual voting method system. Voters could cast a paper ballot at a polling station or vote online. This was the first time voters could cast a ballot online in New Tecumseth.

The process was well received, especially by seniors and persons with mobility challenges.

It was noted that multiple individuals in the community contacted town staff to express their appreciation of the online voting system. Some individuals said they would not have been able to vote without the online system, as they could not leave their homes.

In total, 7,060 individuals voted online, while 3,648 individuals voted by paper ballot.

The Clerk’s Office received 11 complaints regarding candidate activity related to using municipal resources during the election campaign period. There were 52 complaints regarding election sign placement, resulting in 321 investigations. All investigations were conducted within a 45 day period.

Staff spent approximately 50 hours on enforcement, resulting in a cost of roughly $5,000.

Significant legal costs were also realized due to complaints and inquiries regarding candidate activities during the election period. Total costs related to legal expenses exceeded $10,000.

The total cost for the 2022 election was $286,112.50, compared to $235,487.98, in the 2018 election. A savings of $51,864.50 was realized through a reduction in voting locations during advance and voting day in addition to salary gapping.

There is currently $245,608 remaining in the reserve to be used for the 2026 election, a ward boundary review, or as council determines.


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