Charlie Fox was sworn in as the newest Langley school trustee on Thursday, March 12 after his byelection win last month. Some votes were by mail, something a new Township staff report says should be eliminated (Langley School District/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Charlie Fox was sworn in as the newest Langley school trustee on Thursday, March 12 after his byelection win last month. Some votes were by mail, something a new Township staff report says should be eliminated (Langley School District/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Report recommends eliminating voting by mail for future Langley Township elections

Poor response, costs and delays by Canada Post cited during first-time mail-in ballot for byelection

An experiment with mail-in voting during the Feb. 27 Langley school district byelection should not be repeated, a report to council states.

In their recommendations, Chief Election Officer Wendy Bauer and Deputy Chief Election Officer Bob Wilson report 266 voter mail-in packages were requested, less than expected, and by election day, many had still not arrived.

“Several voters attended the polling locations on general voting day reporting that their packages had not arrived,” the report related.

Election staff were able to update records to accept in-person votes for those people.

In total, 210 mail-in ballots were received, but most were not returned by mail, with 135 hand-delivered to polling stations and the civic facility.

READ ALSO: Langley school board byelection to feature mail-in ballots for first time

“With no increase to the voter turnout over the previous by-election, only 6.5 per cent of the voters using the vote by mail option, unanticipated extended delivery time by Canada Post and the majority of voters returning the package in person rather than by mail, election staff are not recommending the use of mail -in voting in upcoming local or school district elections,” Bauer and Wilson said.

Considering the expense of supplies, postage and staff time, “the vote by mail option is not a cost effective option,” they concluded, noting all voting stations took precautions against COVID-19 including safety shields, “single use pencils, frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces, hand sanitizer solutions for both voters and workers, mandatory face coverings for voters and workers, and use of separate in and out doors.”

It was the first time mail-in ballots had been allowed, something that required a ministerial order permitting the changes to the election bylaws.

The report is scheduled to be presented to Township council at their Monday, March 22 meeting.

READ ALSO: Fox sworn in as Langley trustee after byelection win

Charlie Fox won the byelection, beating out his six competitors. A final, official, tally shows he received 898 votes, his nearest competitor, Joel Neufeld received 700. Stacey Wakelin had 668 votes, followed by Phyllis Heppner who garnered 407, Holly Dickinson who received 332, Grant Gilmour who got 92, and Alex Joehl who received 50.

Fox is a retired teacher and principal in Langley schools, with a career of more than 30 years.

He was also a Township councillor before retiring prior to the 2018 municipal election.

The byelection was called after former board chair Megan Dykeman stepped down following her victory in the provincial election in October, becoming the NDP MLA for Langley East.


Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

byelectionLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man gunned down Wednesday morning outside of Langley Sportsplex at 91a Ave and 200 Street. (Shane MacKicha/Special to The Star)
VIDEO & PHOTOS: IHIT investigating fatal shooting near Langley Sportsplex

91a Avenue at 200th Street is closed to the public as RCMP investigate

Brendan Martin is on a hunger strike to raise awareness of fighter jets being purchased by the Canadian government. (Special to Black Press Media/Canadian Press)
Langley physician on two-week hunger strike to protest Canadian fighter jet purchase

No Fighter Jets Coalition member Dr. Brendan Martin last ate on April 10

The Langley Seniors Resource Centre has a tax clinic that wraps up April 30, 2021. (LSRC grpahic)
Seniors centre offers tax clinics and men’s sexuality group has online support meeting

Most in-person events remain on hold but here’s information on two events

.
LETTER: Langley student spills about the link between milk and climate change

Grade 7 students at Gordon Greenwood Elementary were tasked with writing about climate change.

.
LETTER: Langley student delves into climate change and the impact on storms

Grade 7 students at Gordon Greenwood Elementary were tasked with writing about climate change.

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Most Read