On Monday morning, CHOK announced that Shirley Davidson, a Sarnia resident, would be addressing Council on the topic of Electronic Ballot voting.
Great ~ I thought. FINALLY people are waking up to the happenings at City Hall and I was pleased that Ms. Davidson would be taking the time to make her views known.
She spoke passionately about fair and responsible decision making regarding the ballot vote. She said she trusted council to be men and women of honour to make responsible decisions as they promised to do before the last election. Ms. Davidson indicated council’s decision to endorse the electronic vote was made in ‘some sort of a rush’ without providing her with a choice. She advised council that she preferred a ballot vote as she was not comfortable using electronic devices to vote.
Ms. Davidson concluded that council betrayed her confidence and let her down, not respecting her right of choice. Councillor Bruziewicz questioned her reference to ‘behind closed doors’ while Councillor Kelch asked the clerk when meetings took place and why there was no input. The clerk replied that what was done in 2010 worked, so she simply ‘played it forward’. She was not asked to elaborate further.
Bob Sutton spoke on the topic ‘Democracy and Citizenship Engagement’. Citizenship Engagement would lead one to believe he, too, was concerned about the lack of public engagement with respect to the voting issue. Instead, he showed slides and praised council on their ‘citizenship engagement’. Has he failed to notice that citizen engagement has become more difficult due to the restrictions enacted by council in their procedural bylaw?
Bill Chafe, representing the Sarnia Legion, requested free use of the arena on November 11th so that, if weather conditions were unfavourable, remembrance day ceremonies could be held indoors. His request was granted, as it should have been.
Canadians were willing to cross the ocean to fight for democracy. Voting is a privilege that many fought for, and for which many lost their lives. There are people now are not willing to cross the street to cast their ballot so a more ‘convenient’ way to vote, is being sought.
People’s rights and choices are slowly being eroded by an indifferent public.
When questioned earlier, the city clerk advised that the city has NOT invested in any machines so there is no place to insert paper ballots at all. THERE WILL BE NO PAPER BALLOTS.
She explained that the city will be using their own IPads, laptops, Chrome Books and cell phones. She noted that if you don’t have any devices and can’t vote from home, you can come to one of four locations and they’ll help you on their devices. She added that it is all absolutely safe because it goes via ICloud.
On another topic, there was a lively discussion with all councillors participating about the dog park. Councillor Cindy Scholten enlightened everyone regarding the use of poop bags ..she was really quite knowledgeable. Councillor Gillis complimented the committee looking into the dog park saying they acted ‘so diligently’.
Considering the amount of time spent on each, it looks like council has more interest in shoveling poop than voting.
Why am I not surprised?