Absence of voting poll questioned

A letter to the editor by Andy Gillespie, a resident of long term care at the Rimbey Care Centre, regarding the absence of a voting poll

A letter to the editor by Andy Gillespie, a resident of long term care at the Rimbey Care Centre, regarding the absence of a voting poll at the long term care facility, has resulted in some answers, though any changes are too late for the last election.

In his letter, Gillespie voiced a concern that there was no voting poll at the hospital for the long term care patients to cast a ballot in October’s civic election.

“Why do they have an advanced poll at the (Rimbey) Lodge which will give anyone in the Lodge a chance to vote yet the long term facility does not qualify for a polling station”? Gillespie asked in his letter.

Gillespie forwarded the letter to Doug Griffiths, the former Minister of Alberta Municipal Affairs.

In a written reply, Griffiths said the decision as to whether to provide additional opportunities to vote at a municipal election rests with each municipal council.

“The Local Authorities Election Act is the provincial legislation which provides a framework for municipalities to conduct municipal elections. Provincial and federal elections are conducted in accordance with the specific provincial or federal legislation that applies to them, he said in his letter.

The LAEA contains provisions for the returning officer, who is appointed by municipal council, to designate one voting station for each voting subdivision in the municipality. The LAEA further prescribes that a municipality may establish other methods of voting by passing a resolution, but is not required to do so. Some of those methods include advance voting stations, institutional voting stations such as hospitals and seniors facilities and special ballots such as mail-in ballots.

“The LAEA will likely undergo a thorough examination before the next general municipal election,” Griffiths said, adding that Gillespie’s comments have been noted.