RM of Prince Albert clarifies mail-in ballot option

The RM of Prince Albert cleaned up some issues with their mail-in ballot process at their regular council meeting on Thursday, September 10. The council discussed and then passed some amendments to make the new concept easier for the November 9 election. “We are trying to preserve the security and the validity of those ballots,” Reeve Eric Schmalz said.

The RM has had a number of people interested in the option. The issue was the mail out process, according to administrator Roxanne Roy. Nominations open September 23 and nomination day is October 7.

The process can now be done in person, by mail or by email. The municipality was a minor trendsetter putting in place the option before other jurisdictions, like the City of Prince Albert, added their own,

 “The dominoes fell into place based on, I don’t think they were looking to us, and then all of a sudden it started rolling because of the current pandemic is what caused it,” Schmalz said.

“Actually the day I got elected I brought it up with council and then we passed the actual bylaw last year. I think we were one of the few in the province to have it at that time,” Schmalz said.

They are amending instructions in the vote registration form, which will be mailed out to interested residents.

Whenever an individual phones to make a request they must present a copy of their driver’s license or other form of identification. A ballot security envelope template had already been created and council discussed changes to make the matter more clear.

The ballot security envelope is not included with the actual ballot.

The voter who requests the option will mail two envelopes, one with the ballot and a copy of government ID will be entered into the second envelope.  The information will appear in the confirmation envelope. One piece must identify the address and the second must verify identity similar to what is in place from the Saskatchewan Government.

The package will not be available until after October 7.

The RM is posting reminders as the election on both Facebook and their website to get residents ready.