Stoney Nakoda and Siksika members report waiting more than two hours
Members at Stoney Nakoda First Nation polling station west of Calgary, Alta. waited for more than two hours to cast their ballots after 5 p.m. on election day.
The line-ups at the polling station at Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino flooded out of main casino doors, with members saying the process has been slow since noon.
Loralee House of Stoney Nakoda waited for more than two hours to cast her ballot. She said there was confusion about which lines were for registration as opposed to voting.
“Lots of people are frustrated,” said House. “Elections Canada should properly organize the registration polling stations on every reserve.”
Despite the long lines, she said few people left as they seemed determined to have their vote count.
“I’m sure that we aren’t the only reserve having this problem,” House added.
Siksika First Nation, southeast of Calgary near Gleichen, also had problems.
The Siksika Community Centre polling station ran out of ballots after 4 p.m., several people reached by the Calgary Journal. Eddi Wolf Child said that people were waiting up to an hour to cast their ballots even after more ballots arrived.
“They received an additional 650 ballots but you never know. What if they run out minutes before they close?” said Wolf Child, adding that it’s clear officials underestimated how many would come to the polls.
Wolf Child witnessed some people leave and worried about the impact on the overall result in the Bow River riding.
“Who knows how many votes we lost during that half hour?” he asked.