WINDSOR, ONT. -- There are changes coming to proxy voting in the Town of Essex.

Council voted in favour of the changes during Monday’s council meeting.

Proxy forms will now be issued to voters directly from town hall.

The new guidelines include:

  • The clerk’s office will only issue the required Form 3 directly to qualified electors who make a request (directly to the Clerk s Office) that they wish to appoint another person to vote on their behalf;
  • Only Proxy Application Forms that have been issued directly with serial number stamp by the Clerk s Office will be accepted for certification;
  • The person appointed as a Proxy will additionally be required to bring with them when they apply for certification, proof of identification of the elector who appointed them.
  • This is now in addition to the declaration and oath that they are already required to provide; and
  • Proxy Form Applications will no longer be received, processed and certified at the voting location itself. If a person wishes to be certified as a Proxy they will first need to go to Town Hall during designated hours for certification directly at the Clerk s office.

“If the number of proxy’s cast here in Essex falls close to zero, then I would rate that this change has been a failure because not enough people who probably need to vote by proxy weren’t able to,” says councillor Chris Vander Doelen.

The town hopes it will improve the proxy vote process.

“All these checks and balances are very much needed and this is needed for our staff members too, so they’re not put in an uncomfortable situation,” says councillor Sherry Bondy.

The changes come after a number of issues during the 2018 municipal election.