6 Wednesday December 2 2015 POLITICS TERRITORIAL ELECTION Thank you Thebacha Authorized by Patti Haaima Official agent for Louis Sebert. 867-872-0908 My sincere thanks to the voters of Thebacha for your support. I look forward to working with the community for the next four years. Louis Sebert MLA Thebacha Louis Sebert By CRAIG GILBERT The first time Glen Abernethy told Elec- tions NWT there were ghosts - lots of them - on the list of registered electors in Yellow- knifes Great Slave riding the fuzz was still on his political antlers. In the leadup to last Mondays territorial election he walked the streets of the capi- tals east side a two-term incumbent MLA with eight years in the legislature the man tapped to oversee health and social services during the last assembly. He told the Journal on Thursday noth- ing had changed. Im not convinced the voter lists were even remotely accurate he said via tele- phone. This was a concern I raised when I ran in 2007. Id found people who had passed away on the list they had passed away years before. In 2011 I got the voters list and I found people I had identified as deceased in 2007 were still on the list. Abernethy admits the population in Yel- lowknife can be challenging to keep track of with people finding what they can get when they move into town then moving into something better or buying a condo but he does not cut Elections NWT any slack. Ive got units in this riding where I opened up the voters list went to the house and looked at the list and there were apparently 12 people living in this apartment he said. When I knocked on the door none of the 12 people lived there. When you walk into an apartment where they say there are 12 voters and there are none that hurts the credibility pretty fast. Abernethy said he plans to bring his con- cerns to Elections NWT for a third straight time at a public de-briefing typically held after a vote. Weve raised this concern over and over again. When MLAs were reviewing the re- port from Elections NWT in 2011 we said you have to enumerate prior to the election you have to do it because the lists are pathetic he said audibly banging a table for emphasis. Theyre awful. You have to find a way to remove people. You add peo- ple all the time but you dont seem to ever remove people. Im going to push for an enumeration before the next election. Im not trying to say the turnout wasnt down but Im not sure it was down as much as theyre reporting. The disappearing reappearing list At first blush Kieron Testarts 280-202 vote victory over incumbent cabinet min- ister David Ramsay in Kam Lake appeared to coexist with the most anemic turnout in the NWT on Nov. 23 just 25 per cent. After conferring with his team though Testart who helped run NWT MP Michael McLeods successful campaign said voter turnout would have been between 35 and 40 per cent if the list had been more accurate. Through door knocking and voter iden- tification efforts our campaign was able to eliminate more than 500 voters from the list of electors he said. Many voters had moved died werent permanent residents or were duplicated. Cory Vanthuyne who believes the recount in Yellowknife North will confirm his nar- row victory over fellow former city coun- cillor Dan Wong also told the Journal the voter list needs some attention. I have lived in the riding for a long time so I know a number of people who have lived in certain houses over the years he said. I obviously became very familiar with the voters list in the last 30 days and so there would be times when I could see a house I had known since it was built and I knew there had been say three different fami- lies in that house since it was built and all three families are still on the voters list. It certainly needs to be updated. Vanthuynes team took the errors into account and used a voter total about 200 to 300 names shorter than the official list to make their polling calculations. At the end of the day we were actually fairly accurate he said. Definitely NWT Elections now should take the time to go back through that voter list and make sure its as current as possible. Kevin OReilly who posted a narrow 15- vote victory over Jan Fullarton in Frame Lake guessed the list in his riding was off by as much as 20 per cent. I really think that we need to do an enu- meration have somebody go door-to-door to try to correct the list and bring it up to where it should be before the next elec- tion he said. I think we need to invest more money to make sure that we have a proper list. OReilly had another beef saying his son a student in British Columbia was unable to vote via absentee ballot because it never arrived in the mail. I had a couple of complaints about peo- ple who were going to be away from the riding from Yellowknife during the pe- riod where they could vote in the office of the returning officer from November the 11 to the 21 he said. So I think weve got to find other ways to encourage people to come out and vote and can make it easier for them to do so. Expensive enumerations eliminated elsewhere Elections NWT chief electoral officer Ni- cole Latour said the enumeration of elector lists a labour-intensive process has been phased out by virtually every other juris- diction in Canada. She told the Journal the organization has been using a perma- nent list since at least 2007 when she was a deputy chief electoral officer. Manitoba Saskatchewan and Prince Ed- ward Island are the last provinces to phase out an in-person enumeration to verify the list of voters. Elections Canada has not sent a pair of enumerators to a doorstep since 1997. They even skipped Alberta and P.E.I. that year because elections had recently been held and used the provincial lists in- stead to help build the National Register of Electors which they regularly update with data from provincial and territorial agencies plus the Canada Revenue Agency Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Canada Post. Elections Canada claims that through 2005 100 million in costs have been avoided at all levels of government by elim- inating duplication of efforts. The NWT list is compiled from several sources including Elections Canada the City of Yellowknife and GNWT depart- ments including Health and Social Services. Drivers license registrations are not used since Canadian citizenship is not required. We had our voter registration open for months and we advertised to encourage people to check themselves out on the list make sure theyre current and to update it if needed Latour said. All they had to do was have current ID when they go in or mix and match ID that we accept and go in and cast a ballot. Its a little bit up to the elector themselves to ensure the accuracy as well. We cant make assumptions. I think the list is in great shape. Latour added that she does not know what post-electionpublicforumAbernethyreferredto. I think the list in terms of how we man- age it would stand up to some of the claims that have been made against it Latour said. I feel pretty confident in it and I havent had one complaint about it. The list is current unless theyve died say in the last month or two. We use our best judgement in reviewing the list. We have a review period but were not free to just take anybody off the list and assume that they dont live here anymore. Even in the capital assigning residents to a polling division within a riding which requires a numbered street address for a ballot to be issued can be entertaining. Latour recalled the case of a houseboat occupant whose drivers license described their address as the red-and-blue house- boat on Yellowknife Bay. He got a ballot. We have communities that dont have street names and everything is general delivery. Trying to assign them to a polling division was fairly entertaining. We try to keep it as accurate as possible. Pesky voter list errors persist in Yellowknife ridings Filephoto Yellowknife MLAs say they found hundreds of extra names on voter lists.