Friday, March 23, 2012

Vancouver Island North again

On Feb 28th CHEK TV in Victoria reported a voter suppression call in the riding of Vancouver Island North. At that time it was a live call made in the town of Woss and it appeared to be the only incident.

Now it seems to have spread and this report is indicating there may have been automated robo-calls misdirecting voters to non-existent polling stations.
The Vancouver Island North NDP candidate in the May 2011 election said Wednesday several people complained to her recently about receiving automated phone calls directing them away from legitimate polling stations.
“I thought it was a non-story (in this riding),” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, who finished a close second to incumbent Conservative MP John Duncan.
Then the city councillor in Courtenay started to hear from concerned voters who said they had been misled by automated calls.
Cumberland resident Yvonne Kafka said an automated call told her not to vote at the usual polling station in the village, although she confirmed the location and voted.
“If they did it to me, they must have done it to other people,” said Kafka, who has not heard back from Elections Canada about her complaint.
Leonard said a Merville resident told her she was misdirected to the former Tsolum School to vote after she had voted for years at the Merville Hall. The woman, who declined Thursday to be interviewed or identified, told Leonard she was interviewed by Elections Canada.
One woman in Comox told Leonard a call “was directing her to the Comox Mall to vote, where there was no poll.” Leonard said the woman, who had not given Leonard permission to identify her, did manage to vote.
Leonard said she suspects people have not come forward before now because they suspected misleading calls were just a hoax, and they didn’t see the gravity of attempting to defraud voters.
 John Duncan, the Conservative incumbent, won the seat by 1827 votes in a 66.4% voter turnout.


Now, over to visit The Gazetteer, where he has read Prof. Anke Kessler's draft paper on voter suppression and makes a report. As RossK points out, since Kessler's paper, (which focused on the initial 27 ridings), the spread of the contagion has become more widely known and is now into triple digits.

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