Translated June 23, 2010, by Ola Gordon from Polish
My wife and I’ve registered ourselves on presidential election list as required, by sending an e-mail with our details. The same day we got confirmation that our names are on it.
After we’ve come to the polling station today I was told we are on the list, but our names got crossed out because earlier we’ve taken certificate in order to vote outside Montreal. I was told if I wanted to vote I would need to show this certificate. “But I’ve never got any certificate” I said surprised, “because I never applied for it.” Of course nobody believed me. So I asked to show me any proof of it. One of the persons sitting at the table went to look for it, but unfortunately couldn’t find it. She said it’s complicated, but I replied I wouldn’t leave until I cast my vote. It’s scandalous such things can take place. The consul was called in. To get out of the trouble he issued us certificates enabling us to vote, so finally we managed to do it
While being at the consul’s office I saw dozens of deletions, few on each election list. So they were the people who wanted to vote in another area. I was very surprised. In Canada there were four polling stations: in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. These cities are quite far from one another, few hundred or thousands of kilometers away. I wondered – so many people traveling on the same day?
If my name was crossed out by mistake, then another person’s name was not. It means somebody could vote twice – in Montreal and then in Toronto or Ottawa. If I could be crossed out so easily, there won’t be any problem to get a certificate and cross out another old man or woman who wasn’t going to vote, but that person could vote more than once. If there are thousands of polling stations all over Poland, one can vote many times with no problem. It means… election swindles can be done in a very simple way: we give certificates to “our” people and cross out “strangers.”
The conclusion is – it doesn’t matter who votes, but it matters who counts the votes, who decides to put names on the lists, and who gives certificates. The Civic Platform wanted to introduce certificates to vote the second time.
Wilhelm Głowacki, Vancouver, Canada