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Council adopts changes to election bylaw

Municipal elections take place Nov. 15

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With municipal elections less than four months away, the RMOW has adopted changes to the municipal election bylaw that will make the process of mail-in voting smoother for election officials.

Mail-in ballots will now be fed into a vote tabulator two days before general election day.

"The last election was the first time we had mail-in ballots, and they were not put into the vote tabulator machine until the polls closed at eight o' clock," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

In 2011, 54.8 per cent of eligible voters made their way to the polls, casting 3,952 votes — 397 of which were mail-in ballots.

"This (amendment) allows the election people to feed them into that machine two days before the actual election and then keep them secure," Wilhelm-Morden said.

"And then any mail-in ballots that are received over the course of those last two days will be fed into another voting machine, so all of this will just speed up the formulation of the results."

Along with mail-in ballots, the 2014 Whistler Municipal Election will feature two advance voting days: Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Community Room of the Whistler Public Library, and Saturday, Nov. 8 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the lower level of Municipal Hall.

General Voting Day is slated for Saturday, Nov. 15 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m at a location to be determined.

Qualified voters will vote for one mayor, six councillors and two school trustees.

To date, Mayor Wilhelm-Morden and Councillor Andrée Janyk have both stated that they will seek re-election.

Councillor Jayson Faulkner and Councillor Duane Jackson have both previously stated they will not seek re-election, while councillors Jack Crompton, John Grills and Roger McCarthy have yet to declare their intentions.

The list of candidates will not be made official until the Declaration of Election at 4 p.m. on Oct. 20.

The nomination period for potential candidates starts on Sept. 30 and ends on Oct. 10 at 4 p.m.

But no matter who is on the ballot, the important thing is that you get out and make your voice heard, Wilhelm-Morden said.

"Local government is just so close to the community that they serve," she said.

"It's important to ensure that you vote and obtain the leadership that you want."

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