Americans living in Canada keep close eye on mail ballot controversies in the U.S.
By Billy Shields and Adam Kovac, CTV News Montreal
MONTREAL -- Thousands of expat Americans living in Montreal are casting their eyes south as they make their voices heard in advance of Tuesday's election.
“I think people have learned a valuable lesson from the 2016 election,” said Randi Weitzner, who heads up the Montreal chapter of Democrats Abroad. “Most Democrats consider this election one of the most important of their lifetime.”
Weitzner said she's seen a record number of Democrats sending in ballots through the mail. But the election has taken on huge significance for their rivals in the Republican Party as well. Tom Creary of the American Chamber of Commerce is a former Republican who broke with the party over the Iraq War. He said he understands why some are still hoping for another four years of President Donald Trump.
“The support for Donald Trump among small business owners is absolute,” he said. “They don't care about anything other than taxes and doing away with regulations.”
Weitzner said she's receivied numerous queries about who in Canada is eligible to vote.
“In general, if you're a U.S. citizen, you have a social security number and a valid ID, you are eligible to vote,” she said.
Confusion over the process has affected some, such as Kahnawake resident Mike O'Brien, who was born and raised in New York. O'Brien is eligible to use an address from his winter home in South Carolina to register to vote.
“I realized, holy smokes, I could have gotten an ID card pretty easily,” he said. “I should have listened to the guy in the license bureau.”
Though the actual election isn't until Tuesday, the voting process has already been hit by controversy, as 46 states and the District of Columbia have all said they may not receive all their ballots in time to be counted.
“Then there are questions about when is a ballot postmarked, when is it going to arrive,” said Weitzner.