MONTREAL – Several students attending Canadian universities have been scrambling to get home to Massachusetts today to vote, with some saying they did not receive their absentee ballots despite having requested them months ago.
Sociology student Emily Burns, 24, of Newton, said she requested her ballot a few months ago but never received it.
Burns and a friend, both at Concordia University, were desperately looking for someone to drive them from Montreal to Boston yesterday.
They even posted an online ad on craigslist, but, Burns said, no one had come forward by yesterday afternoon.
“I wanted to vote to decriminalize marijuana,” she said, adding that she was also going to vote for Barack Obama.
Burns explained that she just bought a new computer and, with a negative balance in her bank account, does not have the money for a bus ticket to Boston.
Concordia student Carmen Cartterfield, 19, from Cambridge, also did not receive her absentee ballot.
Yesterday afternoon, her iPod in hand, she was waiting in Montreal’s Central Station for a Greyhound bus to Boston.
She said she is missing classes and spending $120 for the bus ticket to get to the polls.
“I tried to get my absentee ballot and they didn’t send it to me, and then I lost track of when the due date was with midterms and stuff,” she said. “It was really important to me that I vote in this election because it’s a really big one and I think change needs to happen.”
She said she is voting for Obama.
Cartterfield said she knows four people who did not receive their absentee ballots. Some of them were planning to travel to the United States this morning, she said, adding that one friend – who is from Boston and goes to school in Montreal – could not go because “she couldn’t miss an exam.”