Voting discrimination in Toronto Centre

Access to voting....

Today most of us take it for granted. Check out this stat...

St. Jamestown has 8,866 voters and 3 polling stations. Three buildings on Bay Street have 910 voters, and 3 polling stations.

That shocked the heck out of me and reminded me of Ohio in the 2004 presidential election campaign and my work in BC years ago.

In the Ohio campaign large black and poor neighbourhoods had fewer voting locations and fewer voting machines than nearby predominantly white middle and upper class neighbourhoods. This meant that the poorer black people had to wait in line to vote four or five times longer than people in the wealthier white area.

In BC many years ago, voting in the remote Chilcotin country was at the house of a white person. This place was located in a white settlement of about 300 people. Also expected to vote at this place was the population 1100 at a Indian reserve 8 kilometers away.

The effect of this shoddy system is that those living in St. Jamestown are being faced with wait times to vote 4 or 5 times longer. Its likely these people have much less "disposable" time to wait. Its likely they will see a line and say "why bother". It is true that the people on Bay Street could say why bother too if they saw a line up, but they don't have to contemplate that as they won't have to line up to vote.

This is another example of systemic discrimination of the poor in Our Ontario. Or should I say "Your Ontario".

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