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Whistler’s voters list needs to be maintained

Numbers skewed, official says

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Councillor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden has stressed the importance of keeping an up-to-date voters list on hand, particularly in the coming months as Whistler could face a referendum and a counter petition process.

Her concerns came up during an innocuous report to council Tuesday night outlining local government election issues.

Shannon Story, manager of legislative services, told council the Whistler’s voters list has not been maintained in recent years. That means there could be people on the list who have either died or moved away, making the numbers skewed.

While that is important for election data in terms of knowing the percentage of eligible voters who voted, it’s also critical in a counter petition process or referendum where a percentage of voters could have significant changes on a course of action.

In particular there could be a counter petition process for the privatization of the operation of the wastewater treatment plant. If 10 per cent of the voters oppose that move council will be required to move to a referendum.

There could also be a referendum on the question of borrowing money to build the Paralympic sledge hockey arena in the village.

In each case it would be essential to have an up to date voters list.

The veracity of the list, said Wilhelm-Morden, is critical not just for election time but at other times too.

She said she would like to see a more proactive approach to maintaining the voters list.

Story will report back to council with suggestions on how to update the municipal voters list.

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