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Tories want U of Guelph votes discounted

Votes cast at university ‘vote mob’ violated Canada Elections Act, say Conservatives


 

The Conservative party is challenging the votes cast during a “vote mob” at the University of Guelph, saying they should be discarded because the voting session violated the Canada Elections Act. The party has requested that Elections Canada rule the polling station was illegal and that partisan election material was distributed during voting. Approximately 700 students cast their vote at a polling station on the main floor of U of G’s University Centre. Several students claim Michael Sona, the communications director for Guelph Conservative candidate Marty Burke, approached the polling station claiming the process was illegal, and at one point may have tried to remove the ballot box, although his presence at the station has not yet been confirmed.


 
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Tories want U of Guelph votes discounted

  1. Cooler heads should have prevailed. Mr. Harper’s brand of new Conservatives continue to alienate and offend. This latest lunacy will certainly cost him votes and encourage even more universtiy students to vote. This is the problem when surrounding yourself with only those who will agree with you, you get bad advice. Our PMO seems to have now become a viper’s nest of “agents provocateurs”.

  2. Who wrote this post?? The “vote mob” was a non-partisan, get-out-the-youth-vote event that was scheduled to occur when Harper was speaking near campus.

    The on-campus special ballot program was a completely separate event. Calling the voting session that the Conservatives wanted to invalidate makes it sound like the event was disorganized and chaotic – as opposed to well-planned and overseen by Elections Canada officials.

  3. The legality or not seems to be summed up in this press release by Elections Canada.

    “In light of the focus on youth and student electoral participation at the 41st general election, and on efforts to increase voter interest and turnout among this group, a well-intentioned returning officer undertook a special initiative to create an opportunity for students at the University of Guelph to vote by special ballot.

    Once Elections Canada officials were made aware of the local initiative in Guelph, the returning officer was instructed not to engage in any further activities of a similar nature. All returning officers have received this instruction.

    While the initiative at the University of Guelph was not pre-authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer, the Canada Elections Act provides that electors may apply for and vote by special ballot. A special ballot coordinator, appointed by the local returning officer, oversaw the activities at the University of Guelph. All information at our disposal indicates that the votes were cast in a manner that respects the Canada Elections Act and are valid.”

    http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=med&document=apr1511&dir=pre&lang=e

  4. This section–

    “Once Elections Canada officials were made aware of the local initiative in Guelph, the returning officer was instructed not to engage in any further activities of a similar nature. All returning officers have received this instruction.”

    –speaks to the irregularity of the special poll. If everything were kosher, there would be no reason to instruct ROs to not continue setting them up.

    So it’s not illegal, but it was wonky.

  5. Odd, I remember two elections ago the CPC supported the idea of having campaign teams help people vote by special ballot. It was suggested that campaign teams were to drive the individual who was a CPC supporter to RO to have them cast their ballot for the CPC.

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