Voting twice is against the law, but a Kingston man was technically given the chance to do so. Prior to this week’s municipal election, Cris Vilela received two separate voter cards in the mail.
“It was really only when I opened them up to vote online that I realised … that I was going to be able to vote twice,” Vilela said as he chuckled.
The voter cards were nearly identical, same name, including both of his middle names, and the same address. The only differences were on one card he supported the separate school board, and the public board on the other.
Vilela, who runs a popular Twitter feed in Kingston, took to social media to point out the error, where he found out that he apparently wasn’t alone.
“Others had indicated that they received duplicates because they had maiden names and married names, they received cards in both names,” Vilela said. “Others received cards for people who had long-since moved.”
Initially, Vilela was told the mistake was because Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), the agency that administers property assessments in Ontario, had him listed in their system with two different birth dates, attached to two different properties he owns.
Global News reached out to MPAC but did not get a response.
The city of Kingston’s deputy clerk Janet Jaynes said the double-up of voter cards is most likely due to the fact that there are two Cris Vilela’s living at that address.
“Based on the information that is available to me, on the voters list, there are two individuals, but they are not the same person,” Jaynes said. “So those were two voter notices mailed for two different individuals.”
This was apparently a puzzling response for Vilela, who called the idea far-fetched, adding he would understand if he and his young son shared the same names – but they don’t.
A search for another Cris Vilela in the Kingston phone book brought up one other person with his last name in Kingston, but they have a different surname and address.
Despite the double-take, Vilela says he only voted once.