‘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

Lagoon improvements, but no safety audit recommendations, coming to Harrison

The lagoon will see electrical upgrades, a new flag pole and fencing, but no life jackets or signs

UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

Most of the University of the Fraser Valley program is offered online

Chilliwack churns out new generation of wildfire fighters

School district partners with B.C. Wildfire Service to prep Grade 12s for careers

All child porn charges against Chilliwack realtor dismissed

Meissner’s computers contained ‘miniscule’ amount of content normally found on offenders’ devices

Mounties hunt for missing Langley man

The public has been asked to help locate David Grainger, last seen on March 19

Harrison Hot Springs students bring ‘Twelfth Night’ to life

The adaption of Shakespeare’s classic comedy include songs and phrases from Canada’s east coast

Giants begin playoff run in Langley tonight

With one win and a loss last weekend, the G-Men now top the Western Conference

Vancouver Giant named to Western Conference first-tier all-star team

Young hockey defenceman Bowen Byram is once again lauded for his outstanding efforts on the ice

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Punching Parkinson’s in the Fraser Valley

Rock Steady Boxing program, designed to help battle symptoms of Parkinson’s, coming to Abbotsford in April

Most Read