City expands democratic process

Armstrong residents with disabilities or injuries that affect their ability to vote in a conventional manner will be able to participate in November’s municipal elections.

City council is in the process of amending its elections procedures bylaw to allow mail-in ballots for those who can’t vote because of their disability or injury.

“Voting by mail ballot is designed to allow electors to cast ballots in an election or other voting opportunity without attending at a voting place,” wrote Armstrong deputy corporate officer Melinda Stickney in a two-page report to council.

The mail-in ballots will also be available to eligible voters who expect to be away from the municipality on general voting day – which is Saturday, Nov. 19 – and at the times of all advanced voting opportunities.

Electors must complete an application and pre-register as an elector in order to be eligible to receive a mail ballot package.

To ensure the secrecy of the elector, the completed mail ballot package is comprised of three envelopes: the secrecy envelope, which contains the ballot; the certification envelope, which holds the secrecy envelope and ballot; and the return envelope which mailed or delivered to the chief election officer before the close of voting.

“I think it’s important to give the electorate as many opportunities to vote as possible,” said Coun. Ryan Nitchie. “We might not see a huge participation rate in this, but there are some people who like to vote who might be out of the country or away and this gives them the chance to participate.”

Stickney was unanimously selected as the city’s chief election officer for the Nov. 19 vote. Wendy Wallin and Patti Ferguson were unanimously appointed as deputy chief election officers.