Joe Horneck asked Mississauga City Council today to reverse its decision to reduce the number of standard voting locations on election day from 15 to 6, for the April 27th ward 4 by-election. City Council decided to defer to city staff and not add back any of the 9 removed voting locations.

The removal of 60% of the voting locations means that 60% of voters will have to travel further to vote.

“City Council is running an experiment that people will be willing to drive further in order to vote,” noted Horneck. “The decision to make it more challenging for residents to vote is mind boggling.”

“It doesn’t make any sense for City Council to think that a dramatic reduction in the number of voting locations won’t result in a reduction in voter participation.”

“We should not be making it harder for people to vote.”

“Voters in ward 4 deserve to have the same opportunity to vote as in previous by-elections and general elections.”

The argument put forward by city staff is that voters will be able to vote at any of the 6 locations, such as the one closest to their place of work. However, this argument is odd, considering there are so very few locations, and with the exception of City Hall, all of the 6 locations are in the middle of residential neighbourhoods not near any large workplaces.