What’s extra essential: The basic proper to vote, or the quarantine guidelines amid a world pandemic that’s to this point killed greater than 4.5 million folks?
It’s a query that one B.C. man had by no means considered till he lately contracted COVID-19 and was advised to quarantine for 2 weeks.
Dennis Kontos of Salmon Arm stated he’ll be in isolation — as per Inside Well being guidelines — till midnight on Tuesday, that means he received’t be capable of vote in Monday’s federal election.
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Kontos stated he understands the significance of isolating, however stated when he tried reaching out to officers about tips on how to nonetheless vote, he bought the run-around.
“They’re mainly telling me that I’m forfeiting my vote as a result of I can’t go and vote,” stated Kontos. “I’m a really robust, cussed individual when it comes all the way down to voting; I believe that’s our proper to do this.
“I vote each time and I discover (this) very unacceptable.”
Kontos stated he’s not asking to go to a polling station, “however they need to have considered a plan prematurely for this circumstance, and so they haven’t.”
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He claimed data on Election Canada’s web site about voting and COVID-19 directed him to his native well being company, Inside Well being, the place he requested about alternate methods to vote.
He stated Inside Well being advised him to contact his Member of Parliament. From there, he stated he was advised to contact Elections Canada, which then once more referred him to Inside Well being.
“As you’ll be able to see, we’re going round in circles.”
Kontos stated he began feeling sick Sunday night time, then went for curbside testing on Monday afternoon.
His take a look at got here again optimistic on Wednesday night time, with Inside Well being contacting him on Thursday about isolating till Sept. 22.
He stated he deliberate on visiting superior polls final Monday, however that his plans modified after getting sick.
“No one has an answer,” stated Kontos. “There are actually hundreds of individuals throughout the nation who’re going to be in the identical boat as I’m — if we bought recognized earlier than election day on Monday.”
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As for requesting a particular mail-in poll, he stated the deadline to use had handed by the point he discovered he was sick.
“The one choice (after superior polls and the mail-in poll deadline) is to vote in individual, on the polls,” stated Andrea Marantz of Elections Canada. “In fact, that isn’t potential for people who find themselves in isolation.
“It’s not a matter of creating a selection. It’s a matter of getting to observe the regulation because it’s written (within the Canada Elections Act).”
Marantz stated yearly, issues occur that forestall folks from voting, including “it’s not a circumstance that’s lined within the Canada Elections Act.”
World Information has reached out to Arnold, the Conservative MP for the North Okanagan—Shuswap, for remark.
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In the meantime, Kontos stated he wonders why authorities can do curbside testing for COVID-19, however not curbside voting, and that there needs to be different alternate options for all akin to absentee or on-line voting.
“They need to make exceptions to the rule as a result of we’re all caught on this vacuum of not having the ability (to vote) and we don’t know what the subsequent steps are,” he stated.
“It’s our constitutional proper to vote. That’s what we cherish right here in Canada. That’s what we wish.”
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