ALBERTA

Siksika Nation Runs Out Of Ballots

10/19/2015 09:35 EDT | Updated 10/20/2015 12:59 EDT
Lucas Oleniuk via Getty Images
TORONTO, ON- OCTOBER 19: A voting sign on the voting centre of Birchmount Bluffs Community Centre during the 2015 Canadian federal election in the riding of Scarborough Southwest Monday evening. Lucas Oleniuk-Toronto Star (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Voters from the Siksika First Nation faced long waits and some were even turned away on election day after the Alberta community's polling station ran out of ballots.

Siksika First Nation, located just southeast of Calgary, received 400 ballots for a population of 7,200 residents, reported APTN.

Voters waiting at the Siksika community centre reported on Twitter that there were major issues in casting a ballot.


Lowa Beebe, Treaty 7's social media manager, was outraged by the shortage.

"They knew hours ago that they were getting very low. They knew that this was going to be a high turnout," Beebe told 660 News.

Some voters expressed fears that the ballot shortages were intentional to suppress voter turnout.

"It raises the suspicion that this is a [Conservative leader Stephen] Harper tactic," Siksika nation member Bryan Little Chief told Global News.

An Elections Canada official told the Calgary Herald that voter turnout in the community was much higher than expected.

More ballots were delivered to the poll at about 5 p.m. MT on Monday.

Meanwhile, Sheila North Wilson, grand chief of a group representing First Nations in northern Manitoba, said she was told there were not enough ballots on some remote reserves in that province.

She said some voters were given photocopies of blank ballots instead.

North Wilson said the turnout showed the First Nations vote has mobilized and people want change.

Ballot shortages have plagued polling stations across the country, with a higher than expected voter turnout in both the advance polls and on election day.

With files from The Canadian Press

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