Vancouver COPE Councillor David Cadman wants an advance poll established in Strathcona and the Downtown Eastside. The nearest advance polls to these neighbourhoods are at City Hall or Trout Lake Community Centre; at least two bus rides away.

Cadman will move a motion at today’s Vancouver City Council meeting calling for the additional advance poll.

“Many residents of the Downtown Eastside have difficulty meeting residency requirements and getting registered to vote,” said Cadman. “Having an advance poll in the area gives them an opportunity to register without being rejected on voting day on November 15.”

Cadman also noted that for many seniors, and disabled residents of Strathcona and Chinatown, an advanced poll is often the only chance they get to cast a ballot.

“Many residents of the Chinatown and Strathcona neighbourhoods are low-income, elderly, or disabled,” said Cadman. “With the key issue of  homelessness directly impacting this community we need to make every effort to ensure Vancouver’s downtown neighbourhoods have an equal opportunity to participate.”

Advance polls are scheduled for November 5, 8, 10 and 12, from 8 am to 8 pm at City Hall, Dunbar, the West End, Trout Lake and Sunset. The Sunset location was added since the last election in 2005.

Please see below for the full text of Cllr Cadman’s motion.

Information:  Dave Fields, COPE Communications, 604-722-4775

October 28, 2008:
Moved by Cllr Cadman

Motion to schedule an advance poll in Strathcona/Downtown Eastside

WHEREAS advanced voting provides citizens with a larger window of time in which to cast votes;

AND WHEREAS advance voting enhances voter participation, particularly for citizens who are elderly, disabled or have other challenges that may prevent them from voting on election day;

AND WHEREAS many residents of the Downtown Eastside have difficulty proving the electors residency requirements;

AND WHEREAS there is currently no advanced polling location near the Downtown Eastside;

AND WHEREAS the Downtown Eastside and adjoining areas have often registered a lower voter turnout relative to other areas of the city;

AND WHEREAS some of the most pressing issues facing all residents of Vancouver in this election directly impact residents of the Downtown Eastside, including homelessness, crime, and drug addiction;

AND WHEREAS the Strathcona Community Centre could serve as an ideal advance poll location for residents of the Downtown Eastside and adjacent areas;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Vancouver City Council direct the Vancouver Elections Office to schedule an advance poll at a location in the Downtown Eastside, Strathcona, Chinatown districts.

COPE Cllr Cadman wants advance poll in Strathcona/Downtown Eastside