Spences Bridge loses federal polling station

Residents receive notice in the mail that their polling station is in Lytton.

Spences Bridge voters who are expecting to have a nice leisurely walk to their polling station on Oct. 19 may want to check their Voter Registration Cards closely. It seems that their polling station is in Lytton.

Resident Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan said she found a notice in her mailbox last week noting the change.

“It was just a notice in the mailbox yesterday and looks like it was the Cooks Ferry Band that issued it,” she said.

They had a three-hour Advanced Poll on Monday, Oct. 5 “for people who didn’t have to work,” she said.

She says Elections Canada looked at facilities in Spences Bridge for a polling station. Obviously, she says, they originally considered putting one here.

Spences Bridge was included in a list of polling stations in information distributed by Elections Canada last month.

She says this is the first time in the 23 years she’s lived in Spences Bridge that it hasn’t had a polling station.

“If you don’t drive, can’t afford the gas, or don’t want to spend an hour in the car going to Lytton… To have it taken away after so many years is completely different than never having it here,” she said.

“It is disturbing when our governmenment makes decisions without consultation,” said TNRD Director Steve Rice, who lives in Spences Bridge. “It is even more disturbing when it hinders any Canadian’s ability to vote. To have only a three hour time frame a full two weeks before the election to vote in Spencer’s bridge is ludicrous. Many of us are still watching the news, following the debates… When it comes to the right to vote ease of access should be a priority for any government.”

Varcoe-Ryan says many in town will not be able to get to Lytton. “I feel quite confident some people will not be able to vote. I’m outraged.”