Thursday, September 13, 2018

Your Right To Vote May Not Be What You Think


Good Morning,

I am in a wheelchair with Multiple Sclerosis. I cannot always get out into the world.

I could not find a way to do mail-in voting during the last Greenwood by-election and as a result I could not vote.

For this upcoming civic election, I have tried to prevent this from happening again. An enquiry at the front desk of Greenwood City Hall had a woman inform me that she didn’t think she didn’t think they did that anymore.

A second written enquiry solicited a response from the CAO/CO saying, “Sorry, we do not have mail ballot voting. We have a back door for wheelchair access if you require assistance.”

This might be fine if you knew you were able get out that particular day. (And access to the beginning of the ramp from the road is a troublesome matter as well.)

Further to that, my parents in Montreal are in major trouble --- one near terminal --- and I seek to find a way there during October and November.

Thus, due to voting restrictions, I will not be able to vote for the second time. This is very troubling.

I have written CivicInfoBC and they have informed me, “Mail-In Balloting is an option for local governments; however there is no requirement that they MUST offer this to voters.”

And there we be! No chance to vote again, which is very difficult to conceive happening in a current modern-day democracy.

Finally, by unintended proxy, I think I write also for those who are non-resident property electors, seasonal residents, electors whose mobility or health prevents them from leaving their home or people who have to go to Kelowna or Vancouver for an operation and recovery for a few weeks. All of them are left without a vote.

Perhaps there is a way I am not seeing, but without a mail-in vote many are robbed of their right to vote.

I will stand to be corrected if I am wrong.

Can you help?

Michael Bonner
Box 580
Greenwood BC
V0H 1J0
250 444 1952

P.S. Thank you for trying to push the envelope forward on trying to end the twice-a-year clock change! Perhaps the Europeans can lead us.

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