Leadership with the City of Dryden says the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board should cover the $15,000 cost of a new English Public School Board Trustee election in the new year, after a messy situation leading up to October 24.
City Clerk Allyson Euler declared an Emergency under the Elections Act on the day of the Municipal Election after finding irregularities in ballots for the board trustee position, where some voters received credentials from both the city and the KPDSB – allowing them to cast multiple votes.
The election was suspended that day, with the goal of having another election in the new year. Euler’s report to City Council on November 14 states that upwards of 380 voters were affected.
The report says the issue was first brought to light on October 20 by the KPDSB, after they had learned that some residents had received letters from the board advising them that they weren’t allowed to vote using their Vote By Mail ballots.
The city says they spoke to those residents, who owned property outside of the municipality, and they had already submitted their ballots. They then received a second letter, saying no election was required as Roger Griffiths had been acclaimed into the position – and were asked to disregard their ballots as they would not be counted.
The city says the issue is that those residents then received City of Dryden ballots. The residents opted to not vote twice in the English Public School Board Trustee position as they had already sent in their original ballots – but they later learned they wouldn’t be counted – meaning they hadn’t voted at all.
After multiple conversations between the Clerk and the KPDSB, the city says its clear that the board knew of the issue by October 6 but did not bring it to the city’s attention.
Now, after requesting a quote for a one-day election with telephone and internet voting by Simply Voting, the city is facing a $15,000 bill. Staff are recommending that the city seek full cost recovery from the KPDSB, under the Municipal Elections Act.
Dryden says this election is expected to take place in February.
The city notes they also looked at an in-person election which would have cost about $8,000 plus staff’s time, but leadership opted to run the second election in the same manner as October 24’s election.