Voters in small B.C. town face long drive to polls
Residents of a small town near Nelson, B.C. are making arrangements for a long drive to vote next week after Elections Canada moved their polling station far from home.
Jack Fisher, an 81-year-old Crescent Valley resident, told CTV News that his usual polling station is just five minutes from his home. This time around, more than 400 registered voters in his area are being asked to vote in Robson, about half an hour away.
"I don't think that's fair to old people who have to arrange transportation," Fisher said. "People are going to be upset."
The advance polling station in Castlegar is about the same distance away, but that's where Fisher opted to cast his ballot.
Elections Canada says the polling location was changed based on feedback from locals, who said Robson would be more convenient because it's close to Castlegar, where many Crescent Valley residents work and shop.
Bruce Forward, field liaison officer for Elections Canada, says that officials have now realized their mistake.
"Upon reflection of it, they realized that maybe the change shouldn't have been made, but at this late date we can't change it back. But we can certainly change it back for the next election," Forward said.
He added that if voters know they'll have trouble getting to their polling stations, they should get in touch with Elections Canada as soon as possible.
"I suggest that immediately they call the returning officer ... and see how they can accommodate them and if its done early enough they can get a special ballot," Forward said.
Mail-in ballots have to reach Elections Canada by the end of the vote on May 2 in order to be counted.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Maria Weisgarber