A city councillor representing Parc-Extension is furious over inaccurate information distributed to voters in her riding by Election Montreal.
Mary Deros is running for reelection under the Equipe Denis Coderre banner. She said over 5,700 people in the area had not received a reminder card. She said the matter was brought to the president of Election Montreal who said additional cards would be sent out.
“I received calls as late as two days ago saying they received the reminder except on the back where they showed the different candidates and where to vote, it was Villeray,” she said. “Others received for Riviere-des-Prairies and others for Pierrefonds-Roxboro.”
Election Montreal acknowledged the error in a bulletin posted to their website, but said the number of cards sent out with mistakes “is very limited.”
“However, as the printing company is unable to confirm the exact number of incorrect cards, Election Montreal has decided to reprint all of the reminder cards concerned,” they said.
The replacement cards will be printed on yellow paper to differentiate themselves from any possible erroneous cards. However, Deros said she believes the error has caused significant damage in mobilizing voters.
“I find that the democratic rights of our people were not respected properly,” she said. “Somebody didn’t do their job.”
There have been other, less systemic errors that have some voters angry. Montreal-West resident Ted Wright said he never received a voter card in the mail.
"I moved a year ago, the city didn't have my new address so I received nothing in the mail," he said. "I went to the voter inscription place, did everything I could to change my place, to show where I'm voting. I was supposed to get something in the mail and I got nothing."
Wright said he checked online to see which polling station he should go to but is still not sure if his name will even be on the voter rolls.
Municipal election tend to draw low voter turnout and only 43 per cent of eligible voters took part in the 2013 election and Pierre Laporte, spokesperson for Election Montreal, agreed that administrative muck-ups can be an added deterrent.
"It can be a problem when those things happen," he said. "In most cases, if not all cases, they get their reminder with their names on it."
However, he noted an uptick in participation in Montreal elections since 2005, when turnout was just 35 per cent.
"It's increasing election after election but it's not much to write home about," he said.