Monday, February 3, 2014

Canvassing Information from Bill Cowles & Meeting Agenda

This afternoon, I spoke with Orange County Elections Supervisor Bill Cowles about some resident concerns regarding Proposed Ordinance 14-01, which changes the composition of Belle Isle's election canvassing board. According to Mr. Cowles, the primary function of an election canvassing board is to certify voter ballots and election results.

The election canvassing process takes place at the Supervisor of Elections office at 119 West Kaley Street (also where early voting takes place). Elections canvassing happens on election day and is open to the public. The requirements and procedures for election canvassing are set forth by state and local law.

However, the canvassing board still has a significant amount of discretionary authority. Mr. Cowles explained that one of the principal discretionary functions of the canvassing board is to determine whether absentee voter signatures match those from their voter records. Such determinations are made solely by the canvassing board and are binding unless challenged in the courts.

With something as important as our local elections results on the line, it is reckless to attempt a major change our City's canvassing procedures before next month's election. Surely our City Council representatives members can endure one evening of election canvassing while we take additional time to properly consider the effect of Proposed Ordinance 14-01 and whether it is even legal under the Belle Isle City Charter. This would also allow the vote on Proposed Ordinance 14-01 to take place at a regular council meeting, instead of a special meeting called for the sole purpose of passing this ordinance before the upcoming election.

If you want to know more about elections canvassing, Mr. Cowles will be attending the February 4 City Council meeting to explain the canvassing process and answer resident questions. An agenda this meeting was finally posted today by City Hall, you can view a copy here:

February 4 City Council Meeting Agenda

Please be at the meeting this Tuesday, Febraury 4 at 5:30 p.m. for a discussion of election canvassing and Proposed Ordinance 14-01, as well as other City matters. See you there!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.