Better Training Needed At Polls

The man who organized the Decline Your Vote campaign in the provincial election earlier this month thinks election workers may need better training.

Paul Synnott says voters who intended to decline their vote told him their ballot might have been counted as spoiled. “If you were asked to put your ballot in a ballot box or write on your ballot yourself or anything like that, it’s not how the process was supposed to work.”

Synnott says he’s compiling information for a report he intends to give the Ontario Returning Officer and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Anyone who thinks their declined ballot wasn’t properly counted can submit their complaint at www.declineyourvote.ca. “If there’s a report to the legislature, to the committee, I would certainly appear and testify at that,” he says.

Elections Ontario says more than 31,000 voters declined their ballot.

In the five local ridings that make up Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, the number of declined ballots increased sharply over the last provincial election in 2011. The highest number is in Chatham-Kent-Essex, where 649 people forfeit their vote, up from just 34. Windsor West saw the fewest with 186. In 2011, only 24 voters declined their ballot in that riding.