Voting question deleted from Township survey

Poll will not ask residents if they voted in municipal election

A planned Township poll of residents has been revised to eliminate a question about voting habits after several members of council objected.

The “Engagement Survey” proposed by the Township Community Participation, Infrastructure and Environment advisory committee would have asked residents to rate their involvement in a number of community activities ranging from attending council meetings to using the municipal website and voting in a municipal election.

But when the survey came to council for approval, several members said asking people about their voting habits was going too far.

“I don’t know what the benefit [of the voting question] is,” said councillor Grant Ward.

“It’s prying into citizens’ lives. If we want to encourage citizens to vote, this is not the best way to do it.”

Councillor Michelle Sparrow, the co-chair of the committee, said she opposed the question at the Nov. 7 meeting that approved the questionnaire.

“It does not seem like a relevant question to me,” Sparrow said.

“It makes it a little political.”

Councillor Kim Richter called the question “offensive.”

Councillor Bob Long noted that the question didn’t ask people to reveal who they voted for, only if they voted.

“What’s the harm in it?” Long asked.

Council voted seven to two to delete the question from the survey.