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Abbotsford couple says they can’t vote in civic election because they’ll be overseas

Voting slip putting a cross in a box.
Voting slip putting a cross in a box. Getty Corus Radio Ptbo

A couple in Abbotsford says they’re being denied their right to vote in their city’s civic election because they’ll be out of the country.

A man, who identified himself to Global News as “Randie” out of personal security concerns, said he reached out to the city to explain he and his wife won’t be in Canada for voting day on October 20, or the two advanced voting days on October 13 and 20 — so he wanted to find out his other options.

“We take our responsibilities as citizens very very seriously, we vote in every election.”

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He said the only options he was provided by the city was the three days that he won’t be here for.

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“The City of Abbotsford, we’re a very growing city, a burgeoning city in the country as they like to… like to advertise themselves and we need people that are progressive and engaged and very very sincerely dedicated to looking after addressing these problems and we wanted to have an opportunity to have a say in who that was going to be.”

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“It’s very disappointing not having an opportunity to have a say in who our next mayors going to be and we just began going over all of the potential candidates for the you know the various positions within the civic government and trustees etcetera, but we’ve kind of pulled that to a halt now that we’re not gonna have the opportunity to exercise our franchise.”

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Randie said there should be an option for people in Abbotsford to mail in their votes if they won’t be in the city on those voting days.

The City of Abbotsford said like other municipalities in the Fraser Valley, does not have a bylaw in place that provides for absentee voting.

The province said the option to provide special voting is the choice of the local government.