November 6, 2017 4:21 pm

Baie-d’Urfé mayor says electing councillors by district could avoid ballot-counting delays

Maria Tutino was reelected mayor of Baie d'Urfé, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017.

Billy Shields/Global News

The re-elected mayor of Baie-d’Urfé, Maria Tutino, says revamping the way councillors are elected could prevent ballot-counting delays.

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Sunday night, the town was left waiting longer than others for results in the 2017 municipal elections.

READ MORE: Baie-d’Urfé results in Montreal 2017 elections

Baie-d’Urfé was the last town on the island of Montreal to release results.

Tutino said slow tallying is common in Baie-d’Urfé because voters select seven names on a 20-candidate ballot.

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One of those votes is for mayor and six are for councillors.

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Tutino is suggesting that candidates run to represent specific districts.

Residents would then vote for two positions: the councillor for their district and the mayor.

READ MORE: Live results across Greater Montreal

Tutino said this could provide more comprehensive communication between residents and the government as residents would have a primary contact for issues in their neighbourhood.

Currently, residents often go straight to the mayor with their concerns.

WATCH BELOW: Issues in Baie-d’Urfé

Districts would be divided by geography, rather than demographically.

However, drawing equal districts could prove to be a challenge when considering commercial and industrial areas.

“Everyone should get a piece of [the industrial district],” remarked Tutino.

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The mayor admitted a district-divided Baie-d’Urfé could still face challenges.

Councillors who only need to cater to their district could potentially alienate residents in other parts of the town, she said.

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Such a system may also encourage councillors to pay less attention to the concerns of residents that might not affect a majority vote.

READ MORE: Your guide to voting in Montreal’s 2017 municipal election

She said this isn’t the first time Baie-d’Urfé has considered dividing the town into districts, but did not confirm if she will address the election process in her coming term.

Luca Caruso-Moro is a journalism student from Concordia University who gathered election data for Global News in Baie-d’Urfé.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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