Voter fraud reported in Ontario

41 posts / 0 new
Last post
Incorrect
Voter fraud reported in Ontario

CBC television just reported that residents in some Ontario ridings have been the target of malicious misinformation regarding polling station locations. Apparently some residents received prerecorded telephone calls instructing them to vote at a location that differs from the one they expected to vote at. The new locations were explained as an Elections Canada response to unexpected high turnout. When voters went to the new locations, they found no polling stations.

I wonder who would do such a thing?

SRB

I hope someone makes recordings of these phone calls.  In the meantime, media and others should remind people to use their voter cards or to use an online voting poll locator.  Does anyone known which particular ridings have been targeted?

surfdoc surfdoc's picture

Kitchener-Waterloo and apparently a Winnipeg riding as well.

Life, the unive...

Guelph too.  Looks pretty organized when it is that widespread and those kinds of calls don't come cheap.

remind remind's picture

Well, it seems the "religious right" has allowed themselves to yet again be corrupted and tarnished morally by affiliation with the Straussian crowd.

The Liberals have no money to do this...so...we all know who likes to hang around with fraud artists.

Le T Le T's picture

Why is it expensive to program a computer to phone numbers in the book and play a message? I ask honestly, it just seems like a ridiculusly easy programming assignment.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

So, does anyone work in "law enforcement" and can answer the question ... how hard is it to do what is portrayed in all the police procedural shows and "dump" the phone records so that the origin of the calls can be traced?

 

On the topic of voter fraud: I notice that Elections Canada has, yet again, NOT taken out advertisements in the media clearly outlining sections 132-134 of the Elections Act:

Quote:

132. (1) Every employee who is an elector is entitled, during voting hours on polling day, to have three consecutive hours for the purpose of casting his or her vote and, if his or her hours of work do not allow for those three consecutive hours, his or her employer shall allow the time for voting that is necessary to provide those three consecutive hours.

Time at convenience of employer

(2) The time that the employer shall allow for voting under subsection (1) is at the convenience of the employer.

Transportation companies

(3) This section and section 133 do not apply to an employee of a company that transports goods or passengers by land, air or water who is employed outside his or her polling division in the operation of a means of transportation, if the additional time referred to in subsection (1) cannot be allowed without interfering with the transportation service.

No penalty for absence from work to vote

133. (1) No employer may make a deduction from the pay of an employee, or impose a penalty, for the time that the employer shall allow for voting under subsection 132(1).

Hourly, piece-work or other basis of employment

(2) An employer who pays an employee less than the amount that the employee would have earned on polling day, had the employee continued to work during the time referred to in subsection 132(2) that the employer allowed for voting, is deemed to have made a deduction from the pay of the employee, regardless of the basis on which the employee is paid.

Prohibition

134. No employer shall, by intimidation, undue influence or by any other means, interfere with the granting to an elector in their employ of the three consecutive hours for voting, as provided for in section 132.

I remember raising this (the importance of EC publicizing this information) with the returning officer for my riding (Calgary Centre) on more than one occasion. Indeed, at an all party meeting (at the time Reform, Progressive Conservative, NDP and Liberal) called by the returning officer shortly after 2000 election both the Reform and PC representatives agreed on the importance of this (the Liberal was vehemently opposed) and requested action be taken on it. I was pressing that the information be included on the voter registration card sent to all eligible voters.

This is of particular concern with staggered voting hours, and of particular concern in Western Canada:

Quote:

Newfoundland Time Zone: 8:30 am - 8:30 pm
Atlantic Time Zone: 8:30 am - 8:30 pm
Eastern Time Zone: 9:30 am - 9:30 pm
*Central Time Zone: 8:30 am - 8:30 pm
*Mountain Time Zone: 7:30 am - 7:30 pm
Pacific Time Zone: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm

Given the "traditional" 9-5 working day, it is simply not possible for an average working voter in the west of the country to have the three consecutive hours required under the Act unless they are allowed to come in late or leave early. And yet Elections Canada consistently refuses to publicize the "right" of the workers to have and the "responsibility" of the employers to allow for these three hours. Talk about vote suppression.

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

I think you can buy lists of landline phone numbers by postal code.  The only reason this would need to be sophisticated and expensive is if they are trying to be untraceable.  However if this is amateur hour it will be interesting to see whether the people get jail time for trying o subvert our democracy. 

Quote:

Obstruction, etc., of electoral process

480. (1) Every person is guilty of an offence who, with the intention of delaying or obstructing the electoral process, contravenes this Act, otherwise than by committing an offence under subsection (2) or section 481 or 482 or contravening a provision referred to in any of sections 483 to 499.

Punishment — offences requiring intent (dual procedure)

(5) Every person who is guilty of an offence under any of subsections 480(1) and (2), sections 481 to 483, subsections 484(3), 485(2), 486(3), 487(2), 488(2) and 489(3), section 490, subsections 491(3) and 492(2), section 494, subsections 495(5), 496(2) and 497(3), section 498 and subsection 499(2) is liable

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both; or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of not more than $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both.

JeanDoeinDavenport

It's not so easy to track down where these are coming from. It's fairly easy to spoof a from phone number - look at the tricks telemarketers play to get their message through. Seeing as this is illegal, I have no doubt there is a nice bit of subterfuge about the locations the calls are coming from. It's easy and fairly cheap to just fake the whole thing.

I don't believe I got this call, but then again, we don't answer the phone unless we KNOW who it is.

Erik Redburn

Someone should report this anyhow.  If its happened to you or someone you know, please report it immediately to Electons Canada and to a local or national media source.   Or a small lefty rag if you think they won't report it.   Get another witness if possible.   These kind of anti-Democratic dirty tricks have to be nipped in the bud, before our system becomes as corrupted as our Confederate-d neighbours.  I strongly suspect the Harpercrats myself.  

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Elections Canada warns of false poll location information

Quote:
A few hours before Sunday's late announcement from Washington DC that Osama bin Laden had been killed by the U.S. military, when this extraordinary Canadian election was still the lead story in the Canadian corporate media, the CBC published this doozy of a development:

"Elections Canada is warning voters not to trust anyone but the agency itself [ie. Elections Canada] about where they should vote on Monday after reports that some voters are being told to go to the wrong polling stations -- some up to an hour away from their homes."

The full story can be read here.

 

Kara

There is no doubt whatsoever that the "changed polling stations" phone calls are the Cons at work.  The Repugs in the US used the exact same tactic in the 2004 election.

I also saw a report that someone had gone to vote and found that her / his name had already been crossed off the voter list as having already voted. After swearing an oath that she / he had not voted, she / he was allowed to vote. Hopefully that was just an innocent mistake by an election worker and is not some type of more widespread attempt at purging the voting list.

gadar

Harper just finished talking on a punjabi radio station in BC and told audience how a con govt will be better than an NDP govt.

And I thought nobody was allowed to campaign today. Guess rules dont apply to the Dear Leader

Kara

In Harper's world, ethics, laws, rules, etc. apply to everyone but him and his party.

Bacchus

Except , of course that all three leadership candidates are campaigning today, according to the news

Tommy_Paine

It would be interesting to know if the people called had a commonality.   Maybe they all lived in a poll that voted heavily for a certain party.  Maybe their names came off a canvassing list, and were specifically targeted by the preference they might have given.

I would not jump to any conclusions about who may be behind it, until we see information along those lines.

Aristotleded24
Erik Redburn

This couldn't be classified as possible election fraud or mischief perhaps, but I and apparently alot of others in my NDP leaning constituency never even received our voting card telling us where our polling station was.  Turns out I wasn't even on the voting list.   Yet I have voted in almost every federal election since 1980 and I know my recent address change was registered as I got a notification weeks back but no actual card.  Saw one guy get turned away because he didn't have all the ID needed to prove he resided in the area.   This is another possible issue that should be recognised, as it's very possible certain ridings may have got fewer resources and less attention than others.    I put nothing below the Repubican wannabes in our government.   Any recent cutbacks to Election Canada's budget or possibly partisan appointments I wonder? 

contrarianna

 

Not just in Ontario is this happening

Quote:
Reports are coming in from key swing ridings in Ontario and other other provinces that voters are being called at home with false information that their voting locations have changed, and in some instances sending voters an hour in the wrong direction.

Spokeswoman Francine Bastien said Elections Canada has confirmed that complaints are coming in from several key ridings - ridings many are aware that are important to the success of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

http://www.examiner.com/canada-headlines-in-canada/canada-election-hampe...

Unlike the US, caller ID phone spoofing is not illegal or regulated in Harper's  "law and order" Canada--but the resulting election fraud is illegal

No doubt encouraged by what might be seen as a "pilot project" in Saanich-Gulf Islands last election where investigations of spoofed calls ( falsely leading back to NDP headquarters) were dropped both by Elections Canada and the RCMP for the most specious of reasons.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2009/03/20/PhoneFraudCharge/

I, and many acquaintances received these messages which I can attest were very professional and well crafted.

Aristotleded24

Erik Redburn wrote:
This couldn't be classified as possible election fraud or mischief perhaps, but I and apparently alot of others in my NDP leaning constituency never even received our voting card telling us where our polling station was.  Turns out I wasn't even on the voting list.   Yet I have voted in almost every federal election since 1980 and I know my recent address change was registered as I got a notification weeks back but no actual card.  Saw one guy get turned away because he didn't have all the ID needed to prove he resided in the area.   This is another possible issue that should be recognised, as it's very possible certain ridings may have got fewer resources and less attention than others.    I put nothing below the Repubican wannabes in our government.   Any recent cutbacks to Election Canada's budget or possibly partisan appointments I wonder?

All they have to do is return to the door-to-door enumeration system that was in place pre-1997. That system is in place in Manitoba. I've moved around a few times within Manitoba and I've never had a problem receiving my voter ID. There were a copule of federal elections that I had to contact EC and tell them they had the wrong info.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Tommy_Paine wrote:

It would be interesting to know if the people called had a commonality.   Maybe they all lived in a poll that voted heavily for a certain party.  Maybe their names came off a canvassing list, and were specifically targeted by the preference they might have given.

I would not jump to any conclusions about who may be behind it, until we see information along those lines.

 

Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo and Winnipeg South Centre were all Tory/Liberal or Liberal/Conservative marginals in the last election(two won by the Libs, the other by the Cons).

Erik Redburn

Aristotled:  "All they have to do is return to the door-to-door enumeration system that was in place pre-1997. That system is in place in Manitoba. I've moved around a few times within Manitoba and I've never had a problem receiving my voter ID. There were a copule of federal elections that I had to contact EC and tell them they had the wrong info."

 

Ya, active enumeration is something that could easily be brought back by any government that knows how to prioritise costs honestly and values democracy.   One of the easiest and most affective ways to keep lists current and governments halfway honest.    I'd even consider the job myself despite my aversion to knocking on strangers doors. 

Kara

Our polling station workers were running by their own set of rules.  The woman in front of us was told that she could not vote despite showing her voter card and her drivers license.  She had brought not only her baby but her two pre-school kids along so she hadn't bothered to bring a purse or any other ID.  The poll worker was extremely rude and kept insisting that if the woman did not have more ID, that she should leave because she would not be permitted to vote.  Luckily, when I picked up our voting cards off the counter as we headed out to vote, I inadvertantly picked up the pamphlet detailing ID requirements, in which it is clearly stated that a piece of government issued photo ID with an address on it is sufficient - it even uses the example of a driver's license.  I showed it to the poll worker who still insisted that was not correct.  We finally got the supervisor of the station to come over and he confirmed that, in his mind, a driver's license alone was not sufficient despite the pamphlet clearly stating that it was - WTF?  Finally, my husband pulled out his cell phone and said he was going to call the RCMP to report a case of electoral fraud (not that the RCMP would have come or would have done anything) and the supervisor relented, allowing the woman to vote.  Of course by this time she was very flustered, her kids were screaming and crying, etc. so I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't bother voting next time.  What was maybe the funniest part of the episode was that when I showed my voter card and my driver's license, the worker asked me for an additional piece of ID - WTF!  Despite having more ID, I just stared her down until she handed me the ballot.

The other thing that was very strange at our polling station was that there were all the tables for the different poll numbers, but all of them had no voters going to them whereas our table had a really long line-up.  When we arrived, there were 30-40 people lined up ahead of us (and after the fiasco with the woman in front of us) it was much longer than that when we left, yet still there were no voters at the other tables.  It's not a big deal at all but we just can't figure out why there never were any voters at the other poll numbers during the 45 minutes or more that we were there yet the line for our poll number just kept getting longer.

Sean in Ottawa

Those who received the calls-- can you remember being canvassed? That could be the source.

You can match phone numbers to addresses easily. A canvasser records who tells them they won't vote for them, who has a sign for another party. Once matched up with a phone list you can now target the opposing party for the fraud and leave your votes in place. If you disrupt 5% that should be enough to flip a close race.

Lachine Scot

So, in spite of there being a Conservative majority now, I'm curious if any culprits will be found for these instances of phone-based fraud.

triciamarie

Could it be this same guy again?

 From a February 2009 thread:

"...our experience here in Guelph in the by-election last summer. Some hoser out of Alberta (the brother of Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge) did a poll apparently using telemarketing cold call equipment. There is no evidence of any kind that I have seen to suggest that this person has even minimal competence to conduct a reliable poll. As far as anyone knows it was only the second poll they had ever done, and the first was that infamous push poll on whether Mortgentaler "the abortionist" should receive the Order of Canada. I got called in both cases. In the election poll, two of four candidate's names were mispronounced; there was a two-week gap between the first and second halves of the poll; and then the question changed for the second half. Information about the poll would be posted on this KLRVu website, then changed, then removed; the numbers quoted were very difficult to credit; etc.

The purported outcome of that piece of nonsense was a Conservative win -- when that aborted by-election was almost certainly a toss-up between the Liberals and the NDP. The results were reported straight up in the local newspaper, and it knocked the wind right out of the NDP campaign."

 

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/new-polling-thread

triciamarie

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Those who received the calls-- can you remember being canvassed? That could be the source.

You can match phone numbers to addresses easily. A canvasser records who tells them they won't vote for them, who has a sign for another party. Once matched up with a phone list you can now target the opposing party for the fraud and leave your votes in place. If you disrupt 5% that should be enough to flip a close race.

We received a call in Guelph telling us our polling station had been changed to a location on the other side of the city. They were saying on the local radio station that later in the day the message changed to one saying that the polls were already closed.

What is particularly interesting to me is that as far as we could tell, the technology used was exactly the same (right down to the same strange scratchy sound) as was used in some phony polls conducted prior to the last general election. Those calls, it was reported, originated from an automatic dialer owned by the brother of Tory MP Rod Bruinooge, from Winnipeg. That voice message also changed, oddly, halfway through the poll, just as this message apparently changed halfway through the day for no apparent reason. NB we also found out recently that in the last election, three Alberta ridings actually bankrolled the Conservative candidate in Guelph.

I was canvassed in fact and had a lovely chat with that pleasant gentleman in which I explained that we could never in a million years vote Conservative. (I didn't mention that his candidate was among the worst of the lot.) In my case I'm not sure if my phone number would be easily associated with my address. But I do know that our Liberal incumbent has my phone number, because he had to intercede for me with StatsCan. So there may have been a leak.

triciamarie

NB it was also reported last week that Guelph Liberal supporters had been called at inappropriate times (late at night) by people claiming to be Liberal campaigners. The Liberal MP says these calls did not originate from his campaign. I received a strange late-night call the next day but I didn't answer and there was no voicemail message; I wrote down the number that it came from, and I'm going to see if I can track down the source.

Basement Dweller

Kara wrote:

Our polling station workers were running by their own set of rules.

As a DRO, the first thing I ask for is a drivers license (or equivalent). I think most would prefer that, especially if they are really busy. It stands alone as a valid piece of ID. The voting card is handy for everyone but is not actually a piece of ID. Unless it appeared fake or something, no DRO in their right mind would turn down a drivers license.

I talked to a trainer of DROs and Poll Clerks. In our area, most were new this election and received insufficient training. In the polling station where I worked, half the DROs failed to seal the ballot boxes incorrectly and it was obvious. An incorrectly sealed ballot box is something a Supervisor should catch right way. But even our Supervisor was inexperienced (this may have been his first time working in a polling station), poorly trained, and had to lean on the few experienced workers various times through the day.

One poll worker fell asleep for at least fifteen minutes, while other poll workers and voters uncomfortably looked on. I caught the poll clerk in my station crossing off wrong names a couple of times, and I had to make sure he entered stuff correctly. He was a bright young man too, just poorly trained. I know stuff was being done wrong all around me but I was too busy to concern myself.

What I would suggest is some sort of test (perhaps online) for new polling station staff, to ensure they know their jobs. Even for experienced staff because this is something you do for one day every few years, and stuff is easily forgotten.

These days, if someone loses a close race, they should definately pursue a recount as there are certainly more mistakes than there used to be.

Lachine Scot

I was sent away even though I had my driver's license, health card and voter registration card.  Admittedly the address on all my government ID didn't match my voting location.  Is that an exception to your statement "DRO in their right mind would turn down a drivers license" ?

Anyways, I came back with some phone bills with my voting address on it and they allowed it.

Basement Dweller

Lachine Scot wrote:

Admittedly the address on all my government ID didn't match my voting location.  Is that an exception to your statement "DRO in their right mind would turn down a drivers license" ?

Were you on the voters list?

Lachine Scot

Yes, I was.

Basement Dweller

Lachine Scot wrote:

Yes, I was.

Actually, being the list might not matter in this case. It sounds like the DRO was correct, your drivers license alone wasn't enough. You may have had something else with your address, like insurance for a vehicle, that might have made the process quicker.

Often a spouse, friend or neighbour will vouch in a situation like this. If such a person is around.

This page explains it better than I can:

http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=ids&document=index&...

northman_08

The real fraud was the ID requirements. In Saskatoon RTB, several thousand people would not have had the right ID.  I am sure that helped HARPO.

Skeena13

Polling station misinformation calls were reported in BC too. It was reported on CBC radio throughout the day. Not sure about which riding.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

CBC was part of the problem.  When Canada @ 5 was broadcast in Saskatchewan, we were blithely informed that polling places were open to 8:30 "across the prairies."  Apparently the assholes in Toronto don't understand that Saskatchewan doesn't do daylight savings time.  Our polls closed at 7:30.

When these staggered voting hours were first brought in, the morons in Ottawa failed to grasp the DST issue.  Thus the first election fought on these rules actually has SK polling places being the last open in the whole country.

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

I don’t think the ID rules are onerous, actually, but they need to be better publicized (—a list on the Voter Information Card) and the people interpreting them to be a) familiar with them and b) honest. I worked as a DRO Monday and there was only one person I wasn’t able to give a ballot, but given what we’ve seen of their flexible interpretation of right and wrong, I hate to think how many people might have been sent packing by DROs who were ethically disordered Con supporters.

2dawall

Voter suppression during the last fed election, voter suppression in the Wisconsin recall vote, and in Manitoba we have a vote coming in the fall. Really, this requires more attention by independent, progressive media, especially after the Labour Day holiday, when the Manitoba election is sure to heat up. Will local labour unions who have already spent signficant money on advertising on summer TV (questionable priority) do anything to face this? At this point, Tories use of dirty tactics in the upcoming provincial 2011 election seems at almost certainty.

triciamarie

triciamarie

Debater

Four ridings that could go from blue to red over the robocall scandal

 

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/canada-politics/four-ridings-could-blue-r...

 

Nipissing - Timiskaming

 

Mississauga East--Cooksville

 

Winnipeg South Centre

 

Willowdale