Voter honesty urged after Edmonton man receives two voter cards in his name
An Edmonton man is raising concerns after receiving two voter cards under his name, and he is cautioning Alberta voters to be honest if they find themselves in a similar situation.
Elwood Ternovoy has been living at the same address for the past 13 years and has always been registered at that address. He said he has only registered to vote once.
But when his voter card came in the mail, there were two in his name and one for his wife, Nadine. He brought both of the voter cards with him to the advance poll.
“[The people working there] first jokingly said, ‘You can vote twice.’ One lady was like, ‘No, no that can’t happen.’ So I used one card. I went to cast my ballot and my vote,” Ternovoy said.
“The other elections officer, out of curiosity, scanned [the other voter card] to see if it would work and, yeah, he was very surprised to find out I could have went and voted twice.”
Workers at the advance poll kept the second voter card, but Ternovoy is worried the system could be taken advantage of.
“Not everyone can be as honest and turn in their cards. There could be a lot of shady [things] going on and they cast separate ballots, cast extra votes and that screws numbers and it raises questions of the electoral process,” he said.
Drew Westwater, deputy chief electoral officer for Alberta, said this situation has cropped up a handful of times so far this election.
He said there is bound to be duplication in the voter registry when the database contains more than 2.6 million voters in the province.
As for how something like this could have happened, Westwater has a number of theories.
“Whether it was the door-to-door enumeration system in September of last year or how they might have registered to vote previously, they might have spelled the name a little bit different…If they didn’t give us their birthdate for each of those, sometimes those can create duplicate records in the voter theories,” he said.
However, Westwater said votes are recorded and it is against the law to vote more than once; the penalty is $50,000 in fines and two years in jail.
Westwater said voters who receive more than one voter card should bring them all to the poll so the duplicates can be removed from future voter registries.
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