As the municipal election looms, we are urged to exercise our constitutional right to vote by the District of Sooke. With a previous turnout of only 41 per cent in the 2018 Sooke election, the electorate clearly sees little reason to participate.
I recently experienced one reason why.
As a voter who knew I would be absent during the voting period, I applied for a mail-in ballot.
I first picked up my application on Aug. 12, brought it back Sept. 15 to be told I could not submit it until Sept. 21 (not informed of this in August), re-visited the district office on Sept. 21, and instructed them to mail my ballot to my home.
Almost two weeks elapsed and on Oct. 4, again walked to the district office to be told that mail-in ballots would not be posted until Oct. 5 (not informed of this on Sept. 21).
Since I was absent from early morning Oct. 5, I am basically being denied my right to vote by the District of Sooke.
The purpose of mail-in ballots is not simply for people unable to come to a polling station but also for those who will be absent.
There is no point in sending out mail-in ballots on the same day as the first advance poll for people who will be absent.
The town electoral officer stated that their policy is based on provincial guidelines but that Sooke town council can amend it. They have not.
This is essentially voter fraud and a blatant denial of my rights. With nonsense like this, is it at all surprising that people become disillusioned with ” democracy”?