Lack of ballots and closed polls mar start of voting

Polls for SA election extended until 7 p.m. on Thursday as candidates found polls closed early on Monday due to a lack of ballots

A photo of a poll location at Casa Loma campus. Photo: Brittany Barber/The Dialog

A photo of a poll location at Casa Loma campus. Photo: Brittany Barber/The Dialog

The Student Association’s (SA) voting period began on Monday March 23, only to be cut short when polling stations were closed at 3 p.m., reportedly due to an insufficient number of ballots.

“The first polling station to close was at Waterfront campus and the second one was at hospitality because they ran out of ballots,” said Jatinder Maan, candidate for director of education for the ACT Now! slate.

Maan and his team went to St. James campus only to find out that international representative ballots had run out, with the polls closing in the cafeteria at approximately 3 p.m.

“Some of them are only there once a week, and it affects our team and it affects other students,” said Maan, emphasizing that students now have to come back if they want to vote.

Biko Beuattah, the acclaimed women and trans representative who is also on the ACT Now! slate, also said that the polls closed at 3 p.m. through an email she had received.

“You only have a week to campaign and only then during certain times,” said Beauttah, referring to her own previous by-election. “Even though I had won by a landslide, the polls closing early definitely would have affected the margin by which I had won.”

Chief returning officer Ewa Cichewicz was contacted by The Dialog but did not return answers to questions about Monday’s polls closing early by press time.

Cichewicz did announce that all polling locations, with the exception of Ryerson campus, will have extended hours on Thursday, March 27 when they will be open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

With files from Tina Todaro

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Lack of ballots and closed polls mar start of voting