The Ekos polling firm has found strong evidence that non-Tory supporters were targeted in the voter suppression effort during last year’s federal election campaign.
The Globe and Mail is reporting that voter suppression activities were surveyed in seven ridings where election results are currently being contested in Federal Court. They included calls that directed voters to polling stations that didn’t exist, as well as phone calls from people falsely claiming to represent Elections Canada, Ekos Research Associates told the newspaper.
“These results strongly suggest that significant voter-suppression activities took place that were targeted at non-Conservative voters,” Ekos Research said in an affidavit filed as part of the Council of Canadians’ legal challenge of the results in the seven ridings, CTV reports. The findings are “highly statistically significant and we can say with confidence that this is not an artifact of chance,” Ekos president Frank Graves wrote.
The survey found that people in the seven contested ridings were 50 per cent more likely to receive the misleading phone calls than people in 106 other ridings that were consulted. It also found that NDP, Liberal and Green Party supporters were about three times more likely to receive the erroneous calls about polling station locations than Conservative voters during the last two or three days of the election, the Globe and Mail reports.
What’s more, the survey found a connection between people who told canvassers that they wouldn’t vote Conservative and those who later said they received the misleading phone calls.