The first day of pre-voting at the Virgil Arena and Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Center was chaotic and confusing, resulting in long wait times and some leaving without ballots.
Voting workers said a large number of NOTL voters gathered early to vote to cast ballots, which led to some angry and angry residents.
However, no issues have been reported at the Holiday Inn Express in Glendale, NOTL’s third pre-voting location.
Natalie de Montiny of the Canadian Election Commission told the Lake Report that there were more voters than ever on the first day of pre-voting across the country. And NOTL was no exception.
She said on Friday that 8,093 was found across horseback riding, including NOTL, Niagara Falls and Fort Erie. In the 2019 federal elections, she said only 5,837 people voted on the first day.
Nationwide, more than 1.3 million votes were cast this year on the first day of pre-voting, the organization said in a tweet.
She said Niagara’s pre-voting took place Friday through Monday from 9 am to 9 pm, with 6,000 more votes cast by the end of the first three days than at the same time in the last election.
She outlined some of the reasons for the delay during the early stages of pre-voting, but Montiny did not use them as an excuse.
“We apologize. The Election Commission wants to apologize for any long lines waiting (and) in some places,” he said.
She said horseback riding pre-voting was more busy than ever.
One of the problems was that the sudden elections made the organization less prepared than in previous elections.
NOTLers tend to arrive early or on time for community events, and the early hours of the first day of pre-voting are traditionally the busiest.
“I don’t know if people are enthusiastic about voting or want to see if they can vote. For whatever reason, more and more people are appearing on the first day,” Montinny said in an interview Monday. ..
Some of the long wait times are simply due to bad timing, Montiny said.
“We don’t control how many people appear and when they appear,” she said.
Montiny was reluctant to blame the long wait times for COVID-19 precautions, but said the process was slightly slowed down due to the need for additional steps.
Election Commission workers had to collect the names and phone numbers of all voters for contact tracing, she said.
It was also difficult for organizations to prepare for sudden elections, as opposed to fixed-date elections. The election was given the shortest legally permitted period, just 36 days.
One area where this affected the Canadian Election Commission was worker employment.
“Because of the pandemic, and because of the fact that it’s a short election, it was a special challenge during this election,” Montinny said.
On Election Day, she said, the Canadian Election Commission has become one of the country’s largest employers, with approximately 250,000 Canadians working to oversee the democratic process.
Steve Hardaka, a resident of NOTL, voted at the Holiday Inn Express Glendale. He said there was no problem.
“We waited about 15 minutes. A woman who voted in front of us said she waited 35 minutes. Neighbors who voted on Saturday morning said they wouldn’t wait.” Hardyker told the Lake Report.
Kaspar Pold, 80, left a pre-voting in Virgil due to long waiting times and said the polling place did not accommodate the elderly.
“I had to wait in the sun for about 20 minutes and had to stand. I didn’t have a chair for the elderly,” Pold said in an email.
When he arrived at the front door, he was told that the waiting time inside was about another hour.
“I couldn’t believe it, so I asked a few questions and was pretty excited,” Paul de Man said.
Workers at the Canadian Election Commission said they were waiting because there was only one polling place in the arena to secure COVID-19.
Paul de Man said he and others left instead of waiting in a long line.
Similar concerns were repeated by Greg Chapman in a Facebook post to group NOTL 4 ALL.
“I’m glad my mom gave me a ballot by mail,” he said after pointing out that there were no chairs available for the elderly.
Chapman said in a comment on a Facebook post that he had waited more than an hour to vote. George Robinson commented that he waited 65 minutes.
“There must be a better way!” Chapman commented.
Cassie Franklin commented that the experience was a “nightmare”, with no disinfectants and some people not wearing masks.
Peter Rider, a resident of NOTL, was fed up with complaints.
“Are we still in a pandemic … are we still taking precautions for COVID?” Rider commented on the post.
“This has nothing to do with politics, as some may think of a lack of organization. During the health crisis, it’s an advanced vote.”
Hardaker considered the crowd on Friday a good thing.
“I think it’s great that people want to vote early. If that means extra waiting time, that’s okay. COVID limits actually happen,” he said.
Montinny shared similar feelings, saying, “In a sense, it’s good news that people wanted to go out and vote.”
Ian and Sharon Gillespie were similarly pleased to see the community center flooded with enthusiastic voters.
“That’s what we want and good turnout,” Sharon said in an interview.
“Population will speak, and we need to see what they say.”
Both Gillespies said the biggest concerns in this election were the environment and childcare.
“We need to prepare for the future,” Ian said.
Paul Boudreau, a resident of NOTL, said COVID-19 was the number one concern in this election.
Boudreau wanted a strong response to the pandemic and lamented his dissatisfaction with those who refused to be vaccinated.
“I was a firefighter, so this isn’t vaccinated. I don’t understand at all,” he said in an interview on Friday.
“That is, that’s the only way to stop (pandemic).”
He was also dissatisfied with the Liberal Party’s call for elections during the pandemic, which cost about $ 600 million in taxpayers’ money to carry out.
“(Liberals) are screaming about lack of housing, no nurses, no doctors, unpaid elderly housing with care, and we (spend $ 600 million) elections).” Budlow said.
Boudreau said he would support the Conservative Party.
On weekends and Monday, September 13, the routes were barely declining. Around noon on Monday, there was a small line outside the community center, but everyone said they didn’t wait five minutes before entering the community center.
Darrell Bohr was waiting in line, saying that his biggest election issue was always government spending.
“I’m afraid of my children’s future,” Boer said.
Voters complain about long lines, delays in some pre-voting
Source link Voters complain about long lines, delays in some pre-voting