‘Dead’ woman looking for answers

Bumped off voting list as deceased, Hope woman demands apology

Margaret Stephens wants everyone to know she is alive — and kicking.

The longtime Hope resident was shocked to hear of her own death, as told to her by Elections B.C. last Thursday.

She knew she hadn’t received a voting card in the mail, so she took her small, previously issued, voters card with her when she headed to the polls. A regular voter, she intended to vote for her new MLA.

When she arrived, she was told she was not on the list, and that she could register on site. And she would have, she said, if the exact same thing hadn’t happened before.

But it did. In 2009, she was told the same thing.

“I reapplied then (in 2009), and I thought I was okay,” she said.

So, sensing something was entirely wrong, Stephens headed home and called Elections BC directly. It was there she was told she was listed as deceased.

“When did i die?,” she asked them. “There is somebody walking around here on two legs, so tell me when did I die?”

But she wasn’t going to let that stop her. She marched back to the polling station, registered onsite, and cast her ballot.

But her experience has her wondering how accurate the entire elections system is.

“I am cross,” she said. “I have lived in Hope for 78 years, lived in the same house for 56 years. Where is my ballot?”

She wonders what happened when she registered at the polling station in 2009, and whether her vote was ever recorded. She wonders what will happen to her vote this time around, too.

“It’s got to be cleaned up,” she said. “It’s my privilege to vote and it’s my right to vote, and I don’t know where my name has gone.”

She had been trying to get in touch with newly-elected MLA Gwen O’Mahony, to get help in finding out what went wrong. She also wants an apology, and proof that she is now a registered voter. O’Mahony has not yet been sworn in, but has been in Victoria all week getting a crash course in politics.

The Observer caught up with her between meetings, and put the two women in contact.

By chance, Bill-33 is being discussed this week, which in part discusses door-to-door enumeration.

“This is quite timely, given what is being discussed right now,” she said. She agrees the issue is troubling, and vowed to help Stephens find out what happened.

“Sure people make mistakes,” O’Mahony said. “But what this does is it tears at the fiber of trust.”

“The Liberals feel we have the best, most up-to-date voters list, but there are obviously still issues.”

She is hoping to see a return of timely, door-to-door enumeration, to clean up the voters list.

Stephens, clearly, wants something to be done, too.

“Something is fishy in Denmark,” she said.

news@ahobserver.com

 

Just Posted

Temperature records were broken for June 21, 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Record-breaking heat shimmered across Fraser Valley for second day

Tuesday should be a bit cooler says forecast from Environment Canada

Tourism Abbotsford has launched the ‘Let’s Go Do Something’ campaign to encourage visitors to check out all Abbotsford has to offer. (Tourism Abbotsford photo)
Tourism Abbotsford launches ‘Let’s Go Do Something’ campaign

Visitors encouraged to check out all Abbotsford has to offer this summer

Emil Anderson Maintenance is mowing the shoulder along Lougheed Highway in Agassiz, asking motorists to use extra caution around slow-moving vehicles on Tuesday and Wednesday. (Graphic/Emil Anderson Maintenance)
TRAFFIC: Slow-moving mowers working on Highway 7 shoulders in Agassiz on Tuesday, Wednesday

Mowing takes place Tues., Weds. between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

A drone’s-eye view of the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge. (Screenshot/Shutter Speed Network)
Kent Council advocates for a wider Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge

Council voted unanimously to send letter of concern to transportation ministry

Artists featured in the BLM Social Justice Art Project at UFV are (clockwise from top left): Michelle Msami, Dona Park, Rain Neeposh and Faria Firoz.
Black Lives Matter art exhibit opens at UFV in Abbotsford

Show features the work of four artists and runs until Sept. 15

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Police closed off 16th Avenue between 232nd and 240th streets in Aldergrove Saturday night at the site of a reported motor vehicle accident. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Survivors of rollover crash thank Good Samaritans for coming to their aid

Collision flipped vehicle into a 10-foot ditch on 16th Avenue in Langley

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Most Read