Cambridge and Wilmot discuss advance and day-of voting plans for municipal election
Local governments within the Waterloo Region are getting ready for the upcoming municipal election, taking place on Oct. 24, but, each municipality is using its own method when it comes to voting.
As election day looms, the City of Cambridge has already opened its advance polls.
"We are allowing voters to come through in their vehicles, or on foot, or on their bikes and cast their votes right here at Forward Baptist Church,” explained Danielle Manton, Cambridge city clerk.
Cambridge began advance voting on Thursday, and the city is trying to make the process easy and quick for residents.
“So, you pull into the parking lot, and our staff will guide you where you need to be,” Manton said.
‘We’ll ask you for a piece of identification with your photo and address on it, if you have your voter information letter then we encourage voters to bring that as well,” she added.
Next Tuesday and Friday, Cambridge will have a curbside-advance polling station open outside of Preston Auditorium from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The last chance for Cambridge residents to cast their votes in person will be on Oct. 15 at the Hespeler Arena from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Manton said hundreds of early voters have already cast their ballot either at the curbside polling station or online.
On election day, Cambridge will offer both in-person and online voting, but that's not what the Township of Wilmot is doing. The township has decided to scrap in-person voting on election day, opting instead for other options.
"We start internet and telephone voting on the 14th. We have eleven days where people can vote 24/7, from Oct. 14 to Oct. 24," Arthur Flach, Wilmot Township Municipal Clerk explained.
Flach goes on to say that people can still vote early in person over four days, noting overall, Wilmot is offering more days to vote this year than in previous elections.
"We're trying to spread the vote, not the virus,” Flach stated.
“So, over four days, we're encouraging people to use their common sense. Vote online not in line.”
Flach added that sealed envelopes with a PIN have been sent out so residents can safely access their ballot online or over the phone and if any technical issues arise, technical experts are on standby to help.
People who are having trouble receiving their PIN can come to the township’s office to retrieve it, according to Flach. However, the PIN won’t be given out over the phone or online, in the interest of not compromising personal information.
The township said it’s confident its decisions will benefit the community this election season, which Flach refers to as a “very engaged electorate.”
"We have a lot of snowbirds here, a lot of them are not going to be here during the voting period and they're very happy they're going to be able to vote from Arizona, Florida, or Toronto or wherever they are."
Additionally, the township clerk says, in a world where online banking, shopping, and other online activities have become all too common, online voting should be something most residents don’t have trouble adjusting to.