June 25th, 2024

City council to consider changes to election requirements

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on March 7, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge city council today will consider a recommendation from the Governance Standing Policy Committee to increase the deposit and signature requirements for candidates running in Lethbridge municipal elections.

The recommendation, to be submitted today by Belinda Crowson, chair of the Governance SPC, calls for council to make changes to Bylaw 5803, the election bylaw.

Those changes would include raising the number of eligible elector signatures for councillor and mayor hopefuls to 25 and 50 respectively.

The proposal also calls for a deposit of $100 and $250 to be made by candidates for council and mayor respectively.

The matter was first brought to council’s attention on Dec. 13 by councillor Nick Paladino who in a motion stated that in the 2021 election there were 33 candidates running for council and six for mayor. That motion said such a large number of candidates is overwhelming to electors “resulting in considerable time to review all the candidates information as well as a significant number of campaign signs in the community.”

It added that organizers of candidates forums find difficulty in allotting time for such a large number of candidates.

The Local Authorities Election Act allows municipalities with populations over 10,000 to request a deposit up to $1,000 to accompany nominations. In 2021, Lethbridge had 81,276 eligible electors, the motion stated.

Other municipalities do charge deposits with Calgary and Edmonton having a fee of $100 for council hopefuls and $500 for mayoralty candidates. Okotoks likewise requires a $500 deposit for mayoral candidates and has a fee of $250 for those running for its council.

Along with Red Deer and Medicine Hat, Lethbridge doesn’t require a financial deposit.

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Agree with NIck. Overwhelming to the point the votes go to the familiar faces. Also should eliminate some “plants” by various voting blocks to gum up the system with so many that won’t get close. Still not nearly enough.

pursuit diver

It was ‘interesting’ to see some of the people running for Mayor last election and a couple for council. I am sure they meant well, but they were having major problems managing their own lives. It was unrealistic they would ever be able to perform the duties. It was a weak attempt by the non-profits to get someone in to side with them even further than council already does perhaps.

Last edited 1 year ago by pursuit diver