Ucluelet’s voting station reopened for a few minutes after its 7 p.m. close on Oct. 19 in order to squeeze in one last batch of voters who had been blocked from the federal election polls by a stuck fish truck on Port Albion Road.
A semi-trailer loaded with fish became stuck in a ditch around 2 p.m. and its trailer swung into the road blocking both lanes of traffic along the only road-access between Ucluelet and Hitacu.
A heavy-duty tow truck arrived from Port Alberni and cleared the way around 6:45 p.m. giving Hitacu residents who had been stuck behind the truck just a few minutes to reach the Ucluelet Community Centre’s voting station.
Ucluelet’s voting station was supervised by Margaret Morrison who had just locked the doors when a group of roughly ten voters from Hitacu arrived.
“There were a couple of people who were still at the polls finishing voting and as one or two of those people were leaving they opened the door to a group of people who were just arriving huffing and puffing,” Morrison said. “They were so happy that they had made it.”
Morrison let the latecomers in and asked permission for them to cast their ballots.
“I was in a room full of seven candidates’ representatives and I had loudly announced that it was 7 p.m. and I was going to go lock the door,” she said.
“I welcomed everybody in and turned to the room in general and said ‘Please if I could have your attention for a moment, as we’ve all heard there was an accident across the bay and a fish truck blocking the road, this group of people has just arrived and if I hear any objection from any of the candidates representatives I’m going to welcome this group here to vote.’”
Not only did Morrison hear no objections, she received applause.
“The group that made it to the polls were able to vote,” she beamed.
“They did tell me a sad story that there were a couple of other vehicles that had arrived and I don’t know if they came to the door but they saw that it was after 7 p.m. and they apparently left feeling very disappointed.”