Pollwatch: Dirty tricks as Canadians vote


#Pollwatch: I’ve been hearing reports of people having difficulty voting, despite being on the voter registration list and showing up with multiple forms of ID.

Via the Orwellian-named “Fair Elections Act“, Stephen Harper is trying to make it more difficult for people to vote, and I fear he may be succeeding. Don’t let him get away with it!

Here are some resources for people voting today:

  • Accepted pieces of voter ID from Elections Canada. Remember that your voter card is NOT an accepted piece of ID. And that one of your pieces of ID must contain your address.
  • If you get refused based on your ID, or if you are unable to produce something with your address, you can also have someone who knows you and live in your riding take an oath that they know you. Vote with a friend, just in case.
  • This Hamilton-based lawyer has also offered free legal advice to anyone turned away from the polls. You can contact him on Twitter or by phone.
  • If someone phones you or stands outside a polling station and tries to convince you that the poll location has changed, don’t listen to them! Check elections.ca to see where you should vote, or use the address on your voter information card.
  • If you end up with a pre-marked ballot, as some people have been reporting, don’t use it! You have the right to ask for another one.
  • Finally, if you’re stuck in long lineups and feel like you’re wasting your time, stick it out! It’s a favourite underhanded election tactic to understaff polling stations where people are likely to vote against the incumbents. Tweet to #pollwatch to report any unusually long lineups, and try to vote early just in case. Remember, most people are eligible to take 3 hours off from work, paid, to vote.

The Harperites are desperate, and they’re resorting to every trick in the book. Let’s stop them in their tracks.

ETA: There are reports in my own home riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie of “dirty” ballots pre-marked for the Conservatives:

Laurier-Sainte-Marie might well be the riding in Canada least likely to go Tory; they’re battling it out with the Greens for 4th place here, behind the NDP, Bloc and Liberals. So if this is happening here, it’s probably happening across the country.

Brian, who wrote this post, had this to add:

I wasn’t paying attention at first, so I thought the cops were there to handle some irate thug. Turned out he called the cops over the fraud, who in turn contacted EC. I calmly explained to the person who handed me my ballot that it was pre-marked. I got a second one, same thing. At this point, cops just asked me what was wrong, I explain and am handed a third ballot. I vote.

As I come out of voting, cop shows me who I thought was just a polling station supervisor, but it turns out several of the people are actually people who are more important and were called in because of fraud. He took my name, ID, story of what happened and triple-asked me if I was 100% certain that the third ballot wasn’t spoiled. At this point there are more irate people than just that one old dude and I’m paying attention enough to translate what they’re saying. All the same deal; a mix of “WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?!” and accusations that the polling station/elections Canada are rigging the election for Harper.

It seems like the Tories have decided that they can’t win the election, so they’ll try to steal it instead. I re-iterate: Don’t let them get away with this! Check your ballots carefully, and if you see fraud, report it to Elections Canada and to VoteWatch. You can also phone Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 if you’re at your polling station and encounter difficulties or get denied your right to vote.

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