10/07/2015 10:51 EDT | Updated 10/07/2016 05:12 EDT

436 Calgary Voters Directed To Wrong Polling Station By Elections Canada

It's normal that some errors occur, according to Elections Canada.

Elections Canada

Voter information cards sent to 436 individuals in southeast Calgary list an incorrect polling station, Elections Canada confirms. 

The problem was brought to the attention of officials on Friday, and by Monday replacement cards were sent to the voters in question, said Leanne Nyirfa, the Calgary spokeswoman for Elections Canada. 

Diann Duthie has voted for more than 30 years in the Forest Lawn area, and she said she has never seen a mistake like this. 

When Duthie received her card in the mail she didn't recognize the location of the polling station. She set the information card aside until she heard other stories on CBC Radio of people in Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Yukon receiving cards with errors on them.

Duthie conferred with a neighbour, who had the same error on his card, so she decided to email Elections Canada. When she didn't hear back, she contacted her local returning office, which said the error resulted from a logistical problem involving the setup of polling stations.

"We're supposed to be getting replacement cards, but that hasn't arrived at my house yet. And I wonder, when it does arrive, how many people will even glance at this? How many people will even notice?" she said. 

Duthie's polling station was listed as Bishop Kidd Junior High, but it should be at Mary Mother of the Redeemer Parish. The two locations are only about five kilometres apart, but she said she is concerned it could deter people from casting their ballots on Oct. 19, especially those in her neighbourhood who don't own a vehicle.

"I think the time would be a consideration. I'm fairly busy right now, so I could have been there very close to closing time and I simply just wouldn't have had time to get to the other station," she said. 

"You know the first thing that pops into your mind is robocalls. You can't help but have that come to your mind when you find out anything that's trying to send you to the wrong place to vote."

No more errors than normal

The new voter information cards on their way to the 436 voters in Calgary will say "replacement card" in the corner to indicate there is updated information, said Nyirfa.

She is not aware of any other errors in Calgary or in Alberta, but it is possible. Mistakes only become known if a voter reports it or if they are seen by someone in the returning office, she said. 

There are roughly 26.5 million cards being sent out during this election campaign, Nyirfa said.

"It's normal that some errors occur in the process. For this election, we're not seeing any more or any less errors on voter information cards than we have in the past," she said. 

Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Elections Canada as soon as possible online, or at 1-800-463-6868.

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