Public could peek ballots at local polling station, according to councillor

Public could peek ballots at local polling station, according to councillor

Elections BC says issue was immediately resolved

Abbotsford voters may have had their right to a secret ballot violated during advance voting today for the provincial election.

Abbotsford city councillor Dave Loewen sent a letter to Elections BC saying he had just returned from Apollo Atheltic Club, where a polling station has been set up in the foyer. He wrote that patrons must pass through the polling station to access the gym via both stairs and elevator.

“Those who use the elevator walk past a voting booth with the potential to look over a voter’s shoulder,” he wrote. “The gym is 4 stories high and the public can look down from above into the atrium and in fact observe how a person may be voting.”

“In any event, the potential for violation of a person’s right to a secret ballot is present; this polling station needs to be moved.”

District electoral officer Helen Lockhart said the issue was immediately resolved after receiving Loewen’s email.

Lockhart told The News, in an email, that the site supervisor was called and a voting screen was moved to ensure privacy. She said members of her office then visited the site to confirm voters are not in view of the public in any way.

“The concerned citizen [Loewen] has been advised and we do appreciate being informed and that it was done immediately,” Lockhart wrote.

Abbotsford News

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