Did a procedural error with voter cards discourage you from voting? (Reporters seeks help.)

Vancouver Aquatic Centre, doubled as a voting place on election day

Vancouver Aquatic Centre, doubled as a voting place on election day

Did a procedural error affect the voting outcome of the November civic election? Did you give up on voting because you thought the polling station was too far away?

In an unknown number of cases, the City of Vancouver mailed voting cards to voters with incorrect information about the locations of the closest three polling stations. The three “closest” polling stations listed may be in the wrong order, or may fail to list the closest polling stations. This could especially affect voters with mobility challenges.

If this affected you, we invite you to write reporter Bob Mackin (see below), who is gathering information (in confidence) for analysis. (If you still have your voting card, hang on to it.)

It appears the problem affects apartment dwellers and residents of multi-family buildings. It seems City Hall incorrectly calculated distances based on the resident’s unit number (instead of building number).

In his blog post (Election 2014: Addressing the address issue) and article in the Vancouver Courier (Vancouver voting wasn’t confusion-free on Nov. 15), Mackin quotes Marc-David Seidel, Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources at the University of British Columbia: “I hope that the mailing from the city does not disenfranchise voters of our city, but fear it may … If this problem is city-wide the implications on voter turnout are quite substantial.”

“Perceived distance to a polling station can be the deciding convenience factor in choosing to vote for many people, and distance can disproportionately impact voting behaviours based upon age and physical mobility — suppressing voter turnout disproportionately for certain demographic groups,” Seidel said. “There is significant academic research on perceived distance to polling stations.”

If you have any information about this topic, please feel free to contact Mackin at bob (at) bobmackin (dot) ca.

LOCATIONS OF VOTING PLACES FOR NOVEMBER 2014 ELECTION

WEST END

A1 King George Secondary School 1755 Barclay St
A2 Lord Roberts Elementary School 1100 Bidwell St
A3 Gordon Neighbouhood House 1019 Broughton St
A4 Best Western Sands Hotel 1755 Davie St
A5 Vancouver Aquatic Centre 1050 Beach Ave
A6 St Andrew’s-Wesley United Church 1012 Nelson St
A7 The Listel Hotel 1300 Robson St
A8 Lord Roberts School Annex 1150 Nelson St

DOWNTOWN

 

B1 Coal Harbour Community Centre 480 Broughton St
B2 Vancouver Public Library Central Branch 350 W Georgia St
B3 Jubilee House 508 Helmcken St
B4 Carnegie Centre 401 Main St
B5 Roundhouse Community Centre 181 Roundhouse Mews
B6 International Village Mall 88 West Pender St
B7 Vancouver Art Gallery 750 Hornby St
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