Brandon couple receives voter information cards with wrong, misspelled last names

By | August 14, 2019

A Brandon woman wants to know why both she and her husband each received two voter information cards — one set with slight misspellings of their names.

Mary-Lousie Davis found the cards in her mailbox on Monday and first noticed there were four cards for two adults in her household, then that two had variations of her and her husband’s names. 

“I was thinking maybe it was a mistake,” she said, upon looking at her two cards. “But the same thing happened to my husband’s card and it was a slightly different type of error.

“It was just strange that we received two erroneous voter information cards,” Davis said.

All four cards had the correct address, but one of Davis’s cards misplaced a B for G in one of her names, while the incorrect version of her husband’s was missing two names and misspelled his last name.

The other two had the correct spellings. 

Davis said she called Elections Manitoba to advise them of the error, as all four cards had different voter identification numbers, meaning cards with the incorrect names were technically registered as separate people and voters as well. 

“I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions about what had happened,” she said. “I don’t think they could remove the incorrect people from the list, so they’re still there.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Elections Manitoba said while they aren’t aware of any widespread issues with people being issued two voter information cards, it is possible for duplicates to be mailed out inadvertently. 

“Generally our system catches duplicates, but there’s a chance that if there was an error (i.e. a spelling error in the name) that it wouldn’t be caught/flagged as a duplicate,” the statement read. 

Davis said she hasn’t heard of anyone else with the same issue.

“It would be really weird if we were the only ones,” she said. “I mean we’re just average voters who voted in the last provincial election, and I’m sure that’s the information we used.”

She speculates the error could have been caused by the short amount of time Elections Manitoba staff had to get prepared for the upcoming election — which came a year earlier than expected. 

“We take every precaution to ensure there are no errors on the VICs,” read Elections Manitoba’s statement. “We will issue voters a new one if they call with an error on theirs.” 

Davis, however, still would like to know what happened.

“I would really like assurance that the incorrect people have been taken off the list,” she said. “It would be nice to have a little investigation about why these people ended up on the list.”