Voter registration cards sent out in error left some Oak Bay seniors confused, and potentially unable to vote.
Residents of Marrion Village in Oak Bay were mistakenly mailed voting cards with inaccurate information, said Andrea Moranz, spokesperson for Elections Canada in British Columbia.
“It’s regrettable, the last thing you want to do is confuse people,” Moranz told Black Press Media on Monday evening. There was no explanation as to how it happened or how many cards were sent out.
The miscommunication meant incorrect voter information cards were issued to residents of Marrion Village, stating there would be a polling station at 180 Bee St. on Sept. 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Marrion Village is a Baptist Housing complex with 50 assisted living suites and 119 subsidized senior housing suites.
A voting station is organized between Elections Canada and the residence’s administration, Moranz said. While this year was complicated by the usual factors, alongside COVID-19, voting at this Oak Bay complex was held Sept. 16 and voter turnout was described as high.
“Obviously there were a lot of other people who did get the message straight and were able to vote,” Moranz said.
Oak Bay resident Wiluya Graham learned of the problem from a friend who is a resident of the complex. The friend called Graham after she expressed concerns to staff and was simply told no one was coming to run a voting station, Graham said.
Graham noted her friend, a First Nations woman who is deaf, faces enough challenges so she was dismayed and alarmed.
“There’s something very wrong about it. It’s more than irregular for the polling people not to show up,” she said.
Graham picked up her friend and got her to nearby Oak Bay High. There, election staff were able to register the woman and take her vote.
Marrion Village administration did not return calls to the Oak Bay News prior to publication.
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