Granisle resident Ian Stallwood said he is not happy with the decision to not locate a polling station in Granisle for the up and coming federal election.
According to Stallwood, during previous elections there has been a polling station in Granisle, however this year Granisle residents have been directed to vote at Babine Lodge, in Topley Landing, 10 kilometres away.
“There are a lot of people who don’t drive here, but they would like to vote,” he said to Lakes District News.
Staff at the Village of Granisle office also confirmed that during previous elections there had always been a polling station set up at the local high school.
They said the village office had received numerous phone calls asking why there is not going to be a polling station located at Granisle during this election period.
Stallwood said that advance polling stations were also not easy to get to as they are located in either Houston or Smithers.
Susan Friend, media relations for Elections Canada confirmed that the closest polling station for Granisle residents during the election would be located at Topley Landing.
She said that, while technically the polling station is not located in Granisle, Topley Landing is very close.
“It is only 10 kilometres away,” she said.
“People from the community of Granisle go back and forward to Houston and Smithers all the times to buy their groceries, so they can get there to advance vote,” she said.
Alternately Friend said that Babine Lodge was very close to Granisle.
When Lakes District News asked Friend how people without a vehicle were expected to travel to Topley Landing to vote, she said that these people can arrange to vote by special ballot.
“They need to contact their returning officer quite quickly,” she added.
Friend indicated that when voting by special ballot, residents are able to mail in their votes.
“From time to time polling stations are relocated or combined with other communities,” Friend said, adding that polling stations are placed in communities with 375 or more voters
Granisle residents wishing to vote by special ballot should call 1-866-546-7618 to register.