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Ballot blunder: city suspends WCDSB election

After two candidates were left off the ballot for WCDSB, the city has declared an emergency and postponed the Catholic trustees election
Cambridge City Hall sign 2
KitchenerToday file photo

The City of Cambridge has declared "an emergency under the Elections Act" to temporarily postpone the election for Catholic board trustees after two candidates were left off the ballot. 

On Oct. 22 the clerk for the city, Danielle Manton, became aware of the misprint and immediately suspended the election until the situation can be rectified. The ballots applicable to the office of Trustee for the English-Separate, Waterloo Catholic District School Board did not include all six certified candidates; two of the six were left off the ballot.

“The decision to declare an emergency and suspend the election for the English-Separate School Board was not an easy one, but it was the only course of action” said Manton.

Under section 53 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, the clerk has declared an emergency which will void any results for the English-Separate School Board election on Monday Oct. 24. This decision is to ensure transparency and uphold the integrity of the voting process, said the city in a press release

The mistake came during the proofing stage with the vendor and Manton is looking into solving the issue and getting new ballots printed. The date for the new elections is still to be determined, but will take place in November.

To date, approximately 1,700 ballots have been cast using the City of Cambridge’s ballot for WCDSB. Cambridge voters that support the school board are advised that votes cast for all races, except the Catholic board are valid and will be counted towards the results of the election on Oct. 24.

This means only the votes for the affected school board will be discarded and voters are welcome to resubmit their vote when the election resumes in November.

Although votes from North Dumfries are counted with Cambridge, their ballots were not affected by this mistake and their votes will be sealed and combined with Cambridge's when the future election is completed. 

Further details regarding plans for the resumption of the WCDSB election will be shared early next week and Cambridge voters that support the school board will be notified of next steps.

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Joe McGinty

About the Author: Joe McGinty

Joe McGinty is a multimedia journalist who covers local news in the Cambridge area. He is a graduate of Conestoga College and began his career as a freelance journalist at CambridgeToday before joining full time.
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