Whitehorse woman isolating due to COVID-19 feels 'awful' she can't vote

·1 min read
Whitehorse resident Natalie Wing was ordered to isolate until Sept. 23 after her partner tested positive for COVID-19. With advanced polls and mail-in applications now closed, she is disappointed to have no more voting options left. (CBC - image credit)
Whitehorse resident Natalie Wing was ordered to isolate until Sept. 23 after her partner tested positive for COVID-19. With advanced polls and mail-in applications now closed, she is disappointed to have no more voting options left. (CBC - image credit)

Whitehorse resident Natalie Wing takes her right to vote seriously.

So, she was very disappointed to find out she won't be able to exercise that right this election after being exposed to COVID-19 this week.

Wing's entire family was ordered to isolate until Sept. 23 after her partner tested positive for COVID-19.

She "can't get over" that Elections Canada didn't consider voting options for people in unanticipated situations like hers.

"I mean, I feel like we're basically being told we could potentially be putting our whole community at risk, or we cannot exercise our franchise," said Wing, "and those are our only options and it feels kind of awful."

Wing said she received the order to isolate on Tuesday and called Elections Canada on Wednesday morning to request a mail-in ballot. But it was too late. The deadline to apply had passed the day before.

The only voting option left is to show up at a polling station on Monday. But, in an email to the CBC, Elections Canada spokesperson Diane Benson said electors who may have been exposed to COVID-19 should not come to the polls, and instead should "isolate, stay home and follow local health guidelines."

"We definitely are wondering why Parliament would not have accounted for this … highly likely scenario and why all the precautions for safe voting don't cover those five days leading up to the election as well as Election Day," said Wing. "It could affect, I'm assuming, more than just us in terms of Canadian voters."

It isn't clear how many people in the Yukon are currently isolating, but as of Wednesday the territory reported 23 active cases of COVID-19.

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