by Jill McCubbin, 2014 candidate for Almonte Councillor, Mississippi Mills
I asked our Town for information on how much it cost to run the Mississippi Mills municipal elections in the past (since the date of amalgamation) and what the voter turn out rates were.
Answers from the Town are below (costs are approximate).
Along with these answers, the Town also wrote this: “Four different voting methods were engaged during the 14 year span which means that different processes, equipment, contracts, staffing, and the effects of technology, inflation and salaries may skew or impact any comparison of costs. Something for consideration is that accessibility and voter turnout have all been positively affected since 2000.”
I am not trying to make any assumptions based on this data. I just wanted to get this information into the public domain. I’d personally like to see a return to the in-person but anonymous vote into the ballot box method, but am not convinced it’s the best method necessarily. I’d like to see the greater community weigh-in about preferred voting methods before the next election. Perhaps status quo is the most popular method, perhaps not.
UPDATE: The Board of the Mississippi Mills Residents’ Association (MMRA), when it was active, published a series of newsletters – more frequently around election time. Luckily they are still online! In the edition titled, COMMUNIQUÉ – THE MMRA’S E-LETTER – VOL 5.1, the MMRA reported voter turn-out rates for 2000, 2003 and 2006, with information provided by the Mississippi Mills Town Clerk (of 2010). This is a quote from that MMRA newsletter: “According to the Town Clerk, voter turnout in MM has increased from 42% in 2000, to 61% in 2003 (first year of mail-in voting), and 56% in 2006.”
Municipal Elections in Mississippi Mills
|Year||Voting Method||Cost||Turn out rate||Turn out rate|
|source: 2014||source: MM Clerk 2014||source: MM Clerk 2010|
|2014||Internet & telephone||$40,000||TBA|
|2010||Internet & telephone||$35,000||54%||n/a|
|2006||Vote by mail||$37,000||42% (unconfirmed) “not located exact calculation”||56%|
|2003||Vote by mail||$32,000||Files destroyed as per the Records Retention Bylaw||61%|
|2000||In-person at ballot box||$19,500||Files destroyed as per the Records Retention Bylaw||42%|