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Kamloops News

Election 2014: Councillors could be chosen out of a hat

KAMLOOPS - Council members were fighting during Tuesday's meeting as if their seats are already on the line while discussing possible changes to the election bylaw for 2014.

And the general election — when eight city councillors and a mayor will be chosen — is still almost five months away. 

Several changes were recommended by staff, though not all adopted, and a number of changes were made to the polling stations. To keep nominations as accessible as possible council declined requiring a deposit, but did agree to requiring 10 signatures.

The location of polling stations was also heavily debated as they tried to assure as many people as possible have easy access to voting come November. A new polling station will be present at Sahali Centre Mall, McArthur Island Sports Centre and several larger care homes while Thompson Rivers University will see an advance polling station.

In order to run for city council or the school board you must be a Canadian citizen, 18-years-old as of the election date and a B.C. resident for at least six months prior to nomination papers being filed. All current city council members have announced their intentions to run in the upcoming election.

Here’s what else you need to know about the 2014 election:
 - The election will take place Nov. 15 and voters will decide city council members as well as school board trustees.
 - $127,000 is budgeted for the election.
 - This election will mark the a move to four year terms from three for local elected officials.
 - The city is trying to increase voter turnout by offering special advance voting, 13 hourly radio ads the day of, use of social media and glossy 8.5 x 5.5 inch information cards similar to ones used by Kelowna last year.
 - As an incentive, everyone who votes will receive an “I Voted” sticker, which can adhere to clothing.
 - Advance voting opportunities will be held Nov. 5, Nov. 6 and Nov. 12 at Heritage House, 100 Lorne St.
 - You can still vote by mail if you are unable to do so in person.
 - Mobile polling stations will visit care homes on the same days as advance voting and the university for four hours on Nov. 13.
 - Mobile polls will not be set up at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre.
 - Nominees will be named alphabetically, by surname, on the ballot ‘to make it easier’
 - If there is a tie vote, and after a recount, the winner can determined at random, such as drawing a name from a hat (though the chances of that happening are low in a large muncipality are low, though Coun. Nelly Dever still says she ‘would be pissed’ if she lost because of random draw.)

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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