An unknown number of Sun Peaks and Whitecroft voters were surprised when their Federal voter information cards arrived and directed them to the Heffley Creek Community Hall to cast their ballots.
Natalie Babin Dufresne, spokesperson for Elections Canada, said she couldn’t say the reason for this specific situation without further investigation, but there were a number of reasons it could have happened.
One possible explanation had to do with the creation of thirty new electoral districts across the country.
“We went to a redistribution process which created new ridings and because of that we had to go back and take a look at all of those ridings and determine within those ridings where they were going to be putting their polling location. Some ridings changed a lot more than others… it could mean someone was sent to a polling station a little bit further than the one they were used to going to before.”
Babin Dufresne also said it could have been an attempt at making a polling station more accessible, which was a focus during this election.
“There’s a lot of different reasons as to why someone would have been sent a little bit further than they would have expected,” she said.
Mayor Al Raine said that he was “stunned” by the misstep and was on the phone to Elections Canada as soon as he learned of the mistake. When he reached them they were already aware, and were taking steps to correct the cards and registrations.
On October 6, the municipality released a statement to residents correcting the information on the cards.
“Some Sun Peaks residents have received voter cards that show Heffley Creek Community Hall as their polling station” the release said. It went on to say the cards were issued in error and Elections Canada would be “reissuing the voters list for our area”.
Elections Canada could not say whether the cards were reissued and received in time but did say “normally they would have been reissued in time for the election”.