Everyone should have equal access to voting
April 5, 2021
Everyone should have equal access to the opportunity to vote, but right now in seven communities across the Yukon people do not have equal access.
Voters in Pelly Crossing, Carmacks, Faro, Ross River and Beaver Creek are unable to submit special ballots to the Elections Yukon office in their community, and must mail them. Where postal service isn’t daily, this serves as an additional barrier. Everywhere else in the Yukon, voters are able to vote on any day during the election period by requesting, completing, and submitting their special ballots in person at their local returning offices.
Voters in Beaver Creek, Burwash Landing, and Destruction Bay did not get advanced voting options this weekend. Their only option to vote locally is on Election Day, meaning they get just one day to vote in person while the majority of Yukoners have 28 days to vote.
Finally, in Ross River, Elections Yukon services have been inconsistent. Elections Yukon was delayed in opening a returning office in the community until late March. Voters report having difficulty reaching returning office officials. Elections Yukon recently advised that there would no longer be a returning office in Ross River during the last week (April 6 to 11) of the election period.
The Yukon NDP sent a letter to Elections Yukon, informing them that this is counter to the Elections Act. So far, Elections Yukon has not agreed to rectify the situation.
We are calling on Elections Yukon:
- To allow all Elections Yukon offices to receive and hold special ballots until Election Day;
- To ensure all Elections Yukon offices be available and accessible to provide services to eligible voters during hours posted by Elections Yukon; and
- To immediately re-establish an Elections Yukon office in Ross River to serve that community.
If you are having difficulty voting in your community we encourage you to reach out to us!