After I filled out my ballot today at Parkcrest Elementary in Burnaby (my old school!), I walked over to a woman standing next to a machine.
The machine is a ballot reader and you have to turn it over and enter it, then wait while it scans the piece of paper.
It doesn’t take long, but I was one of first at the polling station and hardly anyone else was voting right at 8 a.m.
Others sound like they aren’t so luck.
Some people are tweeting complaints about their polling stations only having one ballot reader and it taking a long time to get everyone in line scanned.
Former Burnaby school trustee Mondee Redman tweeted that some people are leaving the Gilmore polling station because it’s taking too long.
“There is only ONE ballot reader at Gilmore! There is 30+ minute line up. One man already left the polling station. 2 people with canes no staff has offered them a chair. #Burnaby.”
Burnaby resident Lauren Boothby (a former NOW reporter) tweeted that she had the same experience at Gilmore, tweeting that she “waited at least 20-30 mins to put my ballot in the machine.”
This is, uh, less than ideal.
The City of Burnaby has tweeted out at 11:36 a.m. that its staff are “aware of the situation” and will be “deploying another voting machine shortly.”
Fine, great, but what about the people who might have left because of mobility issues? Why are voting stations only equipped with one machine? Why does a city with the massive reserves as Burnaby not spring for more machines?
They’ve had four years to prepare for this election. We constantly demand that more people vote, but when they do, they are faced with this.