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October 28, 2017 2:02 am

Why Doesn’t UNBC Have Election Polls? – NUGSS

Thursday, October 15, 2015 @ 3:58 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The Northern Undergraduate Student Society (NUGSS) is unhappy with a decision by Elections Canada not to have election polls at the UNBC campus.

“We’re all about trying to reduce barriers that allow people to participate in exercising their democratic right,” says president Duncan Malkinson. “There are some students that don’t exactly have the same mobility or resources to make sure that they can do that.”

Despite the lack of polls on campus, Lorraine Grant, returning officer for Cariboo-Prince George, says the opportunity to vote over the stretch of this long campaign has been there.

“I’ve had ongoing conversations with Duncan about that. Our special ballot voting in this office has been available since the writ was dropped on August 2,” says Grant.

“And the hours for the office in August were 10-5 Monday-Friday. Since September 7 the hours have been 9-9 Monday-Friday, 9-6 on Saturday’s and 12-4 on Sundays.”

Malkinson says students were aware of the hours but doesn’t feel it went far enough.

“I recognize it (office hours), and we’ve been trying to publicize it, but still there are barriers that remain for students.

He says not having a poll at UNBC is especially cumbersome for students who aren’t too engaged, for those “very focused on their studies” and who don’t “have access to a vehicle.”

Malkinson adds he doesn’t see why Elections Canada couldn’t utilize ‘pop-up’ polls at the university, as was done at other campuses across the country.

“Where a representative comes and takes votes for a couple of hours,” he says.

“I did ask the returning officer here about having that option but it’s an experiment that only a few campuses have access to which is a little frustrating when you consider the principles of consistency that Elections Canada is trying to uphold.”

Malkinson adds he was not left with a strong impression of what the difficulty was in having those mobile polls.

“There’s an association of colleges and campuses in Canada that were identified based on criteria of size and how far the school is from a major metropolitan area. So there is a principled approach that tried to be undertaken but it’s still frustrating.”


The voter has to make an effort!

Yes, your in university, Isn’t it about time that you grew up, and stop relying on everyone else to look after you. You have all this energy to whine about it, how about use that energy to find a way to go to the polls.

No forget it, your probably one of those bleeding hearts that wants everything done for you anyway. So I can guess what party you would be voting for. ;-)

I agree with Grant. There was more than sufficient time for students to vote if they chose to do so.

I have never heard of students having trouble getting to and from recreational activities that they chose to attend.

Make the effort like everyone else.

The next thing you know they will want us to vote for them and give them a copy of the ballot.

In university and still need to be spoon fed ?

So I am torn on this one. I’m a UNBC graduate and know exactly how horrible public transit is to get to and from that place to my house, let alone other places in this town. If I had a class at 8:30, I had to leave my place at 7 am to get there early, otherwise I’d be 10 minutes late. Getting home was a similar nightmare (one driver refused to call ahead and transfer me, so I missed my transfer and had to wait an hour for the next bus).

Not having a vehicle up on that hill can make it very difficult to get around town, especially if you have other obligations and time constraints (assignments, classes, etc).

That all being said, there is arguably very little more important than an election, especially this one… so I would just suck it up for a day and go vote.

But I also don’t see why having an extra station up there is an issue? It can’t be that much work if you truly want people to vote.

Most University students probably don’t have updated ID to prove they live in the correct riding. But I guess their parents could bring it in when they come to the campus to speak to prof’s about their children’s grades (It happens).

Instead of looking at it from a “spoiled kids” viewpoint, perhaps we could look at it as a way to introduce the youth in our society to the democratic process, as this is likely the first chance any of them have had to vote in any provincial or federal election. Removing as many barriers as we can for their first trip to the polls will surely lead to a higher turnout in future years.

Unless of course, you don’t want them to vote because they disagree with you…

Great point, Duncan! Having polling stations on college and university campus sites has been extremely popular across the country and has remedied challenges faced by transient populations. I hope the NUGSS can work on changing this for the next election.

All you naysayers – please just hush. This is the type of thing that would easily extend the franchise to Canadians, and it doesn’t diminish your own franchise in the slightest. Support extending democracy, for Pete’s sake.

Well maybe we don’t need them to vote if they are not going to make the effort to get up off there AA and find a poling station…

The whole family got together to clean out a farmhouse last weekend. All the siblings rolled up their sleaves. A niece of mine going to university, all she did was sit on the couch and whine, and was asking her mom to increase her cell phone for more data. I had to leave the room, because, I could not stand being in the same room.

A lot of kids these days, do not have a clue about hard work. Some do. But some parents are sheltering the kids way too much, and they just don’t get it. It is not doing the kids any good to do this to them.

Those up the hill are special, they must be coddled.

I have to agree with sieg when it comes to the transit service that is provided to UNBC. This issue came up during the last Civic Election and from what I can see nothing has been done.

Seems people in charge at the University, College, Hospitals, City, etc; have no problem in putting in expensive parking meters, but seem unable to solve a transit problem.

The City needs to work with BC Transit, and the students at UNBC to solve this problem

We are trying to attract students to this university with our left hand while we make it difficult for them with our right hand.

There are problems at UNBC with housing, transit, enrolments, etc;

Perhaps this is an issue that Merrick can work with.

In any event we know that we have empty buses running around town 24/7 16 hours a day. Perhaps its time to do something about it and send more to UNBC.

What is the polling place for students who live in residence?

Would it really be “coddling” students to have a poll at UNBC? My impression is that there are quite a few polls in Prince George and that most people don’t have to go very far. Are students asking for anything more?

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