Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for October 5, 2012

Voters’ list up 1,032 people over 2009 election

The number of voters for the Whitehorse municipal election has risen by 10 per cent in the last three years, according to the revised list of eligible voters.

By Chuck Tobin on October 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm


Photo by Whitehorse Star

Norma Felker

The number of voters for the Whitehorse municipal election has risen by 10 per cent in the last three years, according to the revised list of eligible voters.

Returning officer Norma Felker said Thursday the number of residents eligible to cast a ballot this month has risen to 11,744.

That’s up 1,032 voters from the 10,712 eligible in October 2009.

Regular polling day is Oct. 18. The four polling stations will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Five candidates are challenging for the position of mayor, though incumbent Mayor Bev Buckway is not seeking re-election.

Twenty-two candidates have put their name forward for the six councillor seats, including four incumbents.

Those not on the voters’ list can still be sworn in at the polls, with or without the required identification.

They can do so if they’re willing to sign and swear a declaration they are 18 or older and have lived in the city for the required one year as of Oct. 18.

“We had two of those in the (December 2011) byelection,” Felker pointed out, adding it’s a provision that allows for residents who may be homeless.

Felker said generally, however, voters who are on the list are required to bring identification showing their age and address.

Photo identification like a driver’s licence works best because it has both the address and the date of birth.

She said voters without a licence can use a health care card if it has the address, though box numbers are not acceptable.

Health cards, along with an electrical or phone bill that shows the current address, are acceptable, Felker said.

The advance poll will be held at city hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 11.

Felker said the city has expanded the number of polling districts for this election to four, up from three in 2009.

Whitehorse Southeast, she said, includes everything east of the river, and is primarily Riverdale but also Wickstrom Road and Long Lake Road.

The estimated 2,400 voters in Whitehorse Southeast will be casting their ballots at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Riverdale.

The Downtown South district includes everything below the escarpment from the Marwell industrial subdivision to Schwatka Lake, and everything south of Robert Service Way.

The estimated 1,800 voters in the district will be casting their ballots at the new Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre on First Avenue.

The Whitehorse Centre West district, the largest of the four in terms of eligible voters, encompasses everything from the Lobird Trailer Park to Yukon College.

That includes Fish Lake Road and all voters along Range Road, such as the Northland and Takhini mobile home parks.

The estimated 4,500 Centre West voters will be casting their ballots at the Canada Games Centre.

The Whitehorse North district includes everything north of Yukon College.

The estimated 3,000 voters will be casting their ballots at the Church of Northern Apostles at the corner of Wann Road and Boxwood Crescent.

Those who have identified themselves as “at risk” voters still need to apply for a special ballot.

Voters at risk are those who didn’t want their name or address published on the voters’ regular list for a variety of reasons, such as working in a sensitive area like child protection enforcement, Felker explained.

The poll for special ballot voters opened Wednesday at city hall during regular hours. It will remain open every business day until 2 p.m. Oct. 18.

Felker said residents who won’t be in town for the advance poll or on Oct. 18 can also apply to vote by special ballot.

“We have already issued 52 special ballots.”

Eligible voters who are away for an extended period and were not in town when the special ballots became available – perhaps at school – can vote by proxy, and applications for proxy ballots are available at city hall.

Only 36 per cent of eligible voters turned out for the 2009 election.

The most recent population statistics show that Whitehorse has grown from 25,690 residents in December 2009 to 27,071 residents as of last June 30, representing an increase of 1,381 people.

The greatest increase by percentage was in the 20- to 24-year-old and the 25-to-29 age categories.

The 50-to-54 category is the largest with 3,305 residents, according to preliminary calculations by the Yukon Bureau of Statistics.

Across the territory, the population grew from 34,157 in December 2009 to 35,503 as of June 30, representing an increase of 1,346.

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