By Janet Ballantyne
Rocky View Forward
Unfortunately, the County Administration’s handling of the issue and Rocky View Weekly’s coverage, both hark back to past high-handed practices that many of us had hoped were now history.
Administration’s and Rocky View Weekly’s reluctance to support a voters’ list is incomprehensible. Reputable sources on democratic elections all emphasize the importance of ensuring that only eligible voters vote and that procedures are in place to make it difficult for individuals to vote more than once. These sources, almost without exception, identify voters’ lists as the primary and easiest tool for achieving these objectives.
To fly in the face of all these experts begs the question of why Administration and the Rocky View Weekly newspaper are objecting. What is in it for Rocky View Weekly to so strongly object to a voters’ list?
“A voters’ list would make cheating dramatically more difficult.” Janet Ballantyne – Rocky View Forward
The argument, trumpeted by Rocky View Weekly, that the initiative is too expensive is ludicrous. The County’s cost estimate to implement a voters’ list is $130,000 (less than one-tenth of one percent of RVC’s annual operating budget). That amount assumes the County has to do a door-to-door enumeration, an interpretation apparently shared by no one other than Ms. Angie Keibel, the RVC staff person responsible for advising Council on the issue.
Rocky View Weekly’s editorial repeatedly emphasized that Council should wait for the Province to make changes that might reduce the costs of a county-level voters’ list. By taking this stance, Rocky View Weekly has seriously misled its readers – waiting is, within reason, exactly what Council has done. Council decided to delay implementing its voters’ list until October 2019, based on Ms. Keibel’s advice that the provincial review of the relevant legislation should be completed by then. Council, however, recognized that there is no guarantee that the Province will make the necessary changes, let alone do so with sufficient lead time for municipalities to have voters’ lists in place for the 2021 elections. As a result, Council made it very clear that, if the Province has not acted within that timeframe, the County will move forward on its own to implement a voters’ list. Read more »