Essex Councillor Wants Town to Tighten Municipal Election Policies

AM800-News-Essex-Town-Hall

An Essex councillor wants the town to tighten policies for municipal elections.

Sherry Bondy will introduce a notice of motion at Tuesday night's council calling on new regulations on proxy voting along with fixing the use of the town's corporate resource by-law and the town's sign by-law.

She tells AM800 news a number of issues popped up during last year's municipal election including the use of the town's logo and branding and using town staff during the election. 

Bondy says candidates should have an equal playing field and doesn't believe it happened in the last election.

"Our town staff tried really hard last time to enforce our bylaws but unfortunately many of them lacked teeth," says Bondy.  "So I would really like council to look at them and say okay what can we do, can we put stricter penalties here to ensure that our elections in the municipality of Essex are fair."    

She says future elections need to be protected.

"I've heard that election complaints are normal, well it shouldn't be normal, we should not have this many complaints in an election," says Bondy.  "That tells us that we're doing something wrong and we need to work to ensure that.  People that are new to running in elections need to be able to have an equal playing field and that's what we need to protect because that's the heart of our democracy."      

Bondy will introduce the motion on Tuesday but will not speak on it until the next council meeting which is set for September 3rd.

An investigation is currently underway by the OPP looking into last fall's municipal election in Essex.

As heard on AM800 news in October, Bondy received complaints of proxy ballots being signed without proper consent.

Proxy ballots are used to give someone permission to vote on behalf of another person.