As residents in the Lanark-Frontenac Kingston riding prepare to send a new representative to the Ontario legislature, some candidates in the riding are frustrated with Elections Ontario.
They say it’s because of the voter information card that was mailed out across the riding.
It lists only about half the locations where people can vote, and they are situated in the northern end of the riding.
“There’s six polling stations in the southern part of the riding and it is just was not represented,” says Drew Cumpson, NDP candidate for the riding.
The locations not on the voter information card include the South Frontenac satellite office in Harrowsmith, the Verona Lion’s Club, St. James Major Church Hall in Sharbot Lake, Loughborough Public School in Sydenham, and the Inverary United Church.
Green Party candidate Marlene Spruyt says Elections Ontario alerted candidates at a May 9th meeting.
The card directs voters to the Elections Ontario website for a full list of polling stations, but Spruyt says that isn’t good enough.
“Not everybody checks websites all the time, and not everybody had computer access over the weekend, or electricity,” she says.
“So that opportunity to go to an advanced poll may have been reduced for some people in our riding.”
In a statement to Global News, Elections Ontario highlighted a variety of ways voters can find the nearest polling station.
“Through the Elections Ontario website, social media, news releases, individual flyers sent to each household in the province, advertisements, signage and radio ads,” says the statement.
“New for this election, we also launched the Elections Ontario app, where voters can register to get personalized election information.”
Liberal Party candidate Amanda Pulker-Mok says she’s had a number of residents comment on, what they thought, was a lack of polling stations, until she helped them find the closest polling station to their home.
Both Cumpson and Spruyt say they have called on Elections Ontario to publicize all the polling stations in local papers and engage in a social media and phone campaigns to get the full list to residents.
“It feels like they have now neglected voters of the southern part of the riding, telling them they would have to drive a long way to even vote,” says Cumpson.
“It potentially presents a geographic discrimination because individuals might actually think that there aren’t any [polling stations] in the area,” adds Spruyt.
Advanced voting in the Lanark-Frontenac Kingston riding continues until May 28th at the Inverary United Church, Verona Lion’s Club, and St. James Major Church Hall.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.