Windsor

Essex councillor wants revisions to proxy voting system

While a councillor and some residents wanted a judicial review of last October's election, they now only want to revise the proxy voting system because of costly legal fees.

Coun. Sherry Bondy and residents drop quest for judicial review because of cost

Police have been investigating proxy votes that were cast in last October's municipal election in the Town of Essex. (CBC)

An Essex councillor and ten residents have decided not to seek a judicial review of last October's municipal election. Instead they will wait to see what an OPP investigation reveals.

Police started investigating concerns of voter fraud after proxies were allegedly signed without consent.

Ward 4 Coun. Sherry Bondy said a judicial review would have cost about $12,000 in legal fees and the group of concerned citizens didn't have the money.

But she wants to push forward with changes to the proxy voting system anyway.

She has met with town officials and they have identified areas that need revising.

"The people proxy voting for each other should know each other and from the concerns that were brought to my attention from my residents on Oct. 22 is that some people didn't know that others voted for them," said Bondy.

Town of Essex CAO Donna Hunter wants to wait until the OPP investigation concludes before making any changes.

Essex Ward 4 Coun. Sherry Bondy says the judicial review of the election would cost too much money. (Dale Molnar CBC News)

However, Bondy said that could take a long time and in the meantime, there might be a by-election.

"In our last term of council we had a resignation in the middle of the term, so you never know what's going to happen," said Bondy. "I want closure for our community so we know elections in our municipality are safe.

But Hunter is only giving the OPP until the beginning of March.

"And if they haven't completed by then, don't have any further information for us to look at in terms of improving the system, then we will go ahead with what we have already identified ourselves," said Hunter.

The OPP says the investigation is still ongoing. The media relations officer can't say if it will be wrapped up by March.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dale Molnar

Video Journalist

Dale Molnar is an award-winning video journalist at CBC Windsor. He is a graduate of the University of Windsor and has worked in television, radio and print.

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