The Mount Allison Students Union (MASU) says that Elections NB has agreed to launch an official investigation after dozens of eligible student voters were repeatedly turned away from the polls at the Sackville Civic Centre on September 14th, the day of the provincial election.
In an e-mail today to students, President Jonathan Ferguson says that Elections NB informed MASU on Thursday that it would conduct a formal investigation.
“We are pleased to see that Elections New Brunswick is treating this event with the seriousness it merits,” Ferguson writes.
He says an investigator has already been hired and will be visiting Sackville to conduct interviews next Friday and Saturday.
Ferguson’s e-mail encourages students who had trouble voting to get in touch with him so that they can submit their comments to the investigator.
On election day, many students who were qualified to vote reported that they faced hostile questioning and were warned by poll workers and a Liberal scrutineer that they would be committing voter fraud if they tried to cast a ballot.
Some students were turned away altogether. New Brunswick’s Chief Electoral Officer intervened to clarify the rules, but even after that, students were still being told they weren’t qualified to vote.
For an in-depth report from CHMA journalist Erica Butler, click here.
In a comment sent to Warktimes the day after the election, Sabine Dietz, who helped manage the Green campaign, wrote that during nearly five hours at the Civic Centre, she witnessed many students being turned away.
“It was an absolutely appalling situation. I saw students continuously turned away, coming out without having been allowed to vote DESPITE there having been clear instructions by about 4 pm.,” Dietz wrote.
To read her full comment, click here.
Meantime, in his e-mail, the MASU president thanks students for their commitment to democracy.
“September 14th should not have unfolded the way it did – this investigation is part of series of steps that are being taken to make sure this does not happen again,” Ferguson concludes.
For previous coverage, click here.