Lucia Espino recently moved a couple block, shifting from Victoria to Saanich, and as a result was unable to vote for either municipality. (File contributed/Lucia Espino)

Victoria resident unable to vote after a move across the Saanich border

Lucia Espino moved just a few blocks, but unable to vote in either municipality

A Victoria woman is feeling frustrated after she was unable to vote in the municipal election as a result of moving.

Lucia Espino and her partner were living on Fifth Street in Victoria, a couple blocks from the Victoria-Saanich border. At the beginning of October, the couple moved to a nearby home – in Saanich – to accommodate a sick relative.

Espino was diligent in updating her personal information, including on her driver’s licence, but this didn’t help when it came time to vote.

“My voter card came to my old address, and only arrived Thursday or Friday so I thought it would be okay,” Espino said, noting the election was on Saturday. “We’d been so stressed from moving… I totally forgot about the different address on my ID card until we got there.”

READ MORE: Lisa Helps re-elected as mayor of Victoria

Espino was told by Victoria electoral officer that with her new address, she should try a Saanich polling station.

When she clarified the recent move, the tone changed. “I was told that I was probably one of the few people who wouldn’t be able to vote.”

Incidentally, Espino’s partner had not updated his information yet and was able to vote under his old Victoria address.

“He definitely gloated about that a bit,” Espino laughed.

The problem isn’t uncommon; the Local Government Act states that for a resident to be eligible to vote they must “have either lived or owned property in the jurisdiction in which they intend to vote for at least 30 days before they register to vote.”

READ MORE: Voters in Saanich and Victoria support creation of citizens’ assembly on amalgamation

For Espino, it’s just one more reason why she’d vote for amalgamation.

“I’ve always leaned toward amalgamation anyway,” she said.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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