Internet and phone voting has begun across the County’s four municipalities.
The voting period began this past Saturday, Oct. 8 and goes right up to 8 p.m. on election day, which is Oct. 24 this year.
All of the townships, with the exception of Minden Hills, are only doing internet and phone voting. Minden Hills has in-person, paper voting. Some cast their ballots Oct. 8 while others can go to the S.G. Nesbitt Community Centre at 55 Parkside St., Minden, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
By now, people should have received a letter from their township with a unique pin. Using the pin, and your date of birth, you can log on to the specified website in your letter and vote, or call the toll-free number.
It’s a change for some townships. Last election, for example, Algonquin Highlands, Dysart et al, and Highlands East allowed mail-in ballots. Minden Hills had internet, phone and in-person voting..
We believe it would have been preferable to have a consistent voting method across the Highlands, but a majority of Minden Hills councillors didn’t. They voted against their clerk’s recommendation for internet and phone voting, only. This despite the clerk saying it was very labour intensive, expensive and confusing for the public.
We get that some councillors were worried about people not having good internet connections or cell phones, making the process potentially difficult for them. We also understand that not everyone is great with technology. However, it will be interesting to see how many people actually vote in-person to gauge if it was worth the time and money. It will also be notable if Minden Hills’ results are later than the other townships come election night.
Voting by internet or phone allows people to cast their ballots from anywhere with a connection. In the past, if you were going out of town, for example, you had to find a pre-polling station. Now, you can be on a beach in Florida and still vote.
It is more accessible for people with disabilities, seniors and seasonal residents. There is also a longer voting window. In theory, it should attract more young voters. We’re told the e-voting townships should have results quickly.
All of this would point towards more people voting in 2022 than 2018.
However, for that to happen, people have to be engaged in the process. They need to take an interest. Just because mayors and deputy mayors have been acclaimed in Dysart et al and Minden Hills, for example, does not mean you do not vote. Find out what ward you live in, if it is being contested, do your homework, and vote for a candidate. There are races in all four townships.
The people you vote for will help determine the kind of County that Haliburton becomes and The Highlander has already done a lot of your homework for you.
You can listen to our podcast to find out about some of the Highlands’ biggest issues. Check out our opinion pages in the paper, where we elaborate on these issues. Listen to the full interviews we’ve done with all candidates on our podcast. Read the paper for our candidate profiles. Above all, vote.