(ANNews) - First Nations people who live on reserve, as well as those who reside on Metis Settlements, will have to vote in Monday’s referenda and senate elections by special ballot.
But the deadline to apply for a special ballot was Oct. 8 at 4 p.m., so those who haven’t requested one yet will not be able to vote.
Adam North Peigan, a Piikani band member and president of the Sixties Scoop Society of Alberta, previously told Alberta Native News that not having polling stations on reserve so residents can vote on issues that pertain to all Albertans is a form of voter suppression.
“I was completely appalled,” said North Peigan. “These issues should have input from all Albertans, whether you’re pink, blue or black.”
The referenda and senate elections are part of the province’s municipal elections, but since reserves and Metis Settlements have their elections on a different timeline than municipalities, they have been excluded from the additional ballot measures.
The referendum questions are whether Alberta should adopt permanent Daylight Savings Time and whether the federal government should remove equalization — where federal income taxes from across the country are used to subsidize services in less wealthy provinces — from the Constitution.
Although Canadian senators are appointed by the federal government, the province will request the top three vote earners in Monday’s senate elections be appointed.
Senate candidates Duncan Kinney and Sunil Sookram have both publicly expressed concern that Indigenous voters who live on reserve and Metis Settlements are being disenfranchised.
Jeremy Appel, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News