City of Cambridge Ontario, allows Clerk to submit his election report, Full of inconsistencies

By  | January 30, 2011 | 10 Comments | Filed under: 2010 Municipal Candidates

Included below is the City of Cambridge’s Election report, submitted by Alex Mitchell Clerk for the City of Cambridge..

**Please note**

 Not one !!! City Official including the City paid Lawyer objected to this report..

Please click to review.. pages 95-116 pretain to the Oct 25th Election

2011-01-10__Agenda1

 Please remember this Clerk has never been reprimanded by the Mayor, Lawyer, or Council.. You decide Cambridge..

 Should we trust these people.?

Issues with the Clerk’s report:

1.         In this report, the Clerk claims the municipality had 50 polls on Election Day 2010, which is correct; however he states the previous election (2006) as having 68 polls.  The Clerk is comparing the wrong figures.

According to the City’s own data:

http://www.cambridge.ca/city_clerk/election_history

The City had 238 polls in 68 polling locations in 2006.  The 2010 elections saw 50 polls in 42 polling locations.  The comparison should be 50 polls in 2010 and 238 polls in 2006.

REQUEST:  please correct this data. 

This error gives a false impression that the cuts to the number of polling ‘booths’ were not as severe as they actually were.

2.         This report states that the primary motivation for determining the number and location of polls in the 2010 Municipal Election stemmed from the Provincial Legislation pertaining to “accessibility”.

Questions:

 

  • Does the legislation state that it is acceptable to reduce the availability of polling stations due to a lack of accessible facilities?
  • If accessibility affected the availability of the number of voting places, would that mean that lack of accessibility in the City of Cambridge is also a factor that hampered with a citizens vote and potentially affected the outcome of the elections?

 

3.         The report states that of the 50 polls used on Election Day in 2010, staff received complaints relative to waiting lines and over-crowding at 3 locations.

Question:

 

  • How many complaints were received?

 

  • How many polling stations were at these 3 locations? 

 

  • Is it not conceivable that those that did not wait around to vote also did not take the time to fill out a complaint form?

 

  • Were any complaints received about accessibility from seniors and disabled voters?

 

  • What did the other complaints entail?

 

 

 

4.         Staff will be reviewing these specific locations and situations in preparation of the next municipal election in 2014.

Question:

 

  • How were these specific locations reviewed before they were established as voting locations for the 2010 elections?

 

  • What is meant by ‘situations’ and what were all the ‘situations’ noted by the Clerk through complaints during the whole election process?

 

  • Were there any formal complaints made about the tabulators?

 

5.         The City of Cambridge states that it ensure that its policies, procedures and practices address integration, independence, dignity and equal opportunity, so as to promote accessibility.

Questions:

 

  • How was this target attained through poll cuts resulting in seniors and disabled waiting in long lineups and inhospitable locations?

 

  • With 35% of the traditional locations of 26 not meeting accessibility standards for 2010 why were those standards not updated for the 2010 elections rather than simply cutting them from use?

 

6.         The report states that:

“As a result of the requirement for accessible facilities many familiar locations were not used as they no longer met the accessibility requirements.  In some cases voting subdivision areas having a larger number of electors were established, also we *had to* host multiple voting subdivisions in one location, this occurred as a result of the accessibility requirements for buildings and the lack of accessible facilities in Cambridge.”

The Act States:

45.  (1)  The clerk shall establish the number and location of voting places for an election as he or she considers most convenient for the electors. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 45 (1).

45. (3)  A voting place may be located outside its voting subdivision and outside its local municipality. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 45 (3).

Question:

 

  • Due to inability to find enough accessible facilities in Cambridge, were locations investigated outside overcrowded subdivisions or even outside the municipality?

 

 

7.         This report states:

It must be noted that some locations that have been cited (i.e. Kathleen Elliot Court/Westgate Court) are not classified as institutions or retirement homes – they are classified as Multi-Resident and DO NOT meet the requirements under the Municipal Elections Act under Section 45 of the MEA

Questions:

 

  • Does zoning negate need when choosing polling locations?  If these apartments cater to seniors, shouldn’t the needs of those senior take priority?
  • Despite the fact that a building classed as Multi-Resident DOES NOT meet the requirements under the Municipal Elections Act shouldn’t the intent of the AODA override in a case where such buildings housed significant numbers of elderly electorate?

 

 

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 states:

 

38.  If a provision of this Act, of an accessibility standard or of any other regulation conflicts with a provision of any other Act or regulation, the provision that provides the highest level of accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, employment, accommodation, buildings, structures or premises shall prevail. 2005, c. 11, s. 38.

 

 

8.         This report states:

 

In 2010 we also offered Curbside Voting which allowed people with mobility issues the opportunity to vote from their vehicle as the DRO would attend at the curb side.

 

Question:

  • How many votes were cast at curbside?

 

 

9.         This report states:

We had issues of line-ups in 3 polling locations (Gertrude Berger Court, Hespeler Arena, Hespeler Public School). The provincial requirement for identification slowed down the process at the polling location.

Issues continue with out of date information on the Voter’s List, which made Form 9 revisions an issue at the polling locations. With the implementation of the Datafix program it is anticipated that the list will be vastly improved for 2014.

Questions:

 

  • Why did the requirement of identification slow the process?  Where staffs not apprised of this, or were voters unaware of this requirement?

 

  • How many form 9 revisions were there on Election Day?

 

  • Were areas provided for those needing to fill out form 9 revisions provided, away from the line-ups so as not to bog the process?

 

 

10.       The reports states that:

Poll Subdivisions were modified to have 1,500 to 2,000 electors in a poll

subdivision – in 2006 we had ranges of 124 to 903 electors in poll subdivisions

The change was made as a result of the change in Ward Boundaries and in

discussions with the Cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph and Brantford who have applied the same standard (1,500 to 2,000 electors per poll subdivision)

Question:

 

With the drastic increase of electorates per polling subdivision, were there enough staff available and why were they not better prepared for problems?

**************************************************************************************

           

This report concludes that significant improvements have been made in regards to accessible elections and yet accessibility was more of an issue during the 2010 elections than the previous election.  If it was indeed necessary to restrict the number of polling stations due to the unavailability of accessible facilities, then the policies that control accessibility at elections failed their intent in Cambridge as the result was encumbered vote to some. 

It is a fact that many seniors have varying degrees of disability but it appear that the Clerk, through this report, had fashioned his election process on his vison of a disabled person in the act of casting his ballot.  He did not consider the inability of most seniors to endure long line-ups, long waits and crowded conditions…not necessarily because they are disabled but simply because they are older.  The report speaks to integration, independence, dignity and equal opportunity… but when delivered without respect, they are nothing.

 

The Municipal Elections Act states under ‘Powers of Clerk’:

12.  (1)  A clerk who is responsible for conducting an election may provide for any matter or procedure that,

(a) is not otherwise provided for in an Act or regulation; and

(b) in the clerk’s opinion, is necessary or desirable for conducting the election. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 12 (1).

 The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 definitions:

“barrier” means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice; (“obstacle”)

“disability” means,

(a) any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,

Section 38 of the AODA states:

38.  If a provision of this Act, of an accessibility standard or of any other regulation conflicts with a provision of any other Act or regulation, the provision that provides the highest level of accessibility for persons with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, employment, accommodation, buildings, structures or premises shall prevail. 2005, c. 11, s. 38.

 

 

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debbie_vitez@rogers.com'

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10 Responses to City of Cambridge Ontario, allows Clerk to submit his election report, Full of inconsistencies

  1. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    W. Clarke January 30, 2011 at 10:28 am

    So Debbie, the truth finally comes out. When is the City going to come out with the truth? We know….Never. Hespeler was a mess and l have not seen this in the local paper but it should be there. You should call the Premiers Office about this.

  2. agmarshall@rogers.com'
    agm January 30, 2011 at 11:05 am

    That is a very broad definition of disability. I’m 61 years old and in excellent health yet even I would have no difficulty (due to normal ageing) to fall into the disabled category as so written. I wasn’t keen on lineups and long standing in my 20’s & 30’s but in my 60’s I simply won’t do it unless it’s a life and death matter. Voting is important to me but I will not tolerate those kinds of thoughtless or otherwise physical impediments to what are my absolute rights ie. voting The City of Cambridge can claim ignorance before the fact (truthful or not) but after the fact there is no excuse for their denials of having impeded the rights of voters. Shame on them.

  3. Debbie Duff Vitez January 30, 2011 at 11:24 am

    They are all in bed together, in my personal opinion
    Nothing is going to change, until like Egypt we take a stand against the corruption, (again my personal opinion)..that is ruling our city .

  4. agmarshall@rogers.com'
    agm January 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Post # 3 . Just had a great idea! Why don’t we offer Egypt the dictator of Cambridge in exchange for theirs?

  5. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    Thomas Vann January 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    agm. l have a ton of work to do before the end of Feb. Have a good one and only drink beer because the water here is bad for you. l will still be in and out from time to time but the damage here has been done. Who knows, maybe some miracle will happen. My neighbour is building an ARK. You have been in the hoop and know what’s happening and what did happen but a new day is dawning and l will face it as you do……one day at a time. May the Good Lord Richly Bless You agm. Thanks.

  6. Debbie Duff Vitez January 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Agm
    They wouldn’t want him.. same ol’ same ol’ .. lol

  7. Debbie Duff Vitez January 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Tommy
    You do ramble.. lol.. and I still loves ya..
    How Lucy puts up with ya is a whole nother story.. heehee

  8. sjmct@cyg.net'
    Sherrie January 30, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Things here with our new council does not appear to be much different than before, but still early and hoping for the best. Keep up the good work if only so we know we did.

  9. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    Voter#144,444 February 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    You can add these nuns to the report. And the beat goes on. More material is on the way Debbie during the next two weeks. Good Luck!

  10. Debbie Duff Vitez April 14, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Interesting when you look back and see it all unfold..

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