The Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation is going to use new technology to track who is voting where in the coming band election.
The First Nation — one of the largest in the province — has over 10,000 band members who mostly live in eight communities throughout northeast Saskatchewan.
Chief electoral officer Randy Clarke says there have been concerns that some people have voted more than once in previous votes by casting ballots in more than one community — something that hasn’t been tracked, until now:
“There’s certain people who vote in two communities — and it’s not allowed. So, this year, we have a database that we use, interconnecting computers from the seven communities. So, everybody that does vote . . . you can pull it up right away and see they voted already. So, we have that security.”
Clarke says this step is necessary, because the band doesn’t have the funds to post community-specific voters’ lists for the nine communities (including Saskatoon) that will have ballot boxes.
He adds there are a number of off-reserve members living abroad who won’t get the chance to vote — because the band’s limited resources won’t allow it to organize mail-in ballots.
Clarke notes any off-reserve member is welcome to vote in any reserve community on election day.
The PBCN chief and council election is scheduled for April 17th. Nomination meetings are being held tonight.