Voter gets ballot pre-marked for the Conservatives

A Vancouver voter has taken to social media to warn Canadians about possible vote fraud after receiving a ballot pre-marked for the Conservatives today during advanced voting for the federal election.

“To all Canadians: I went to vote today in early voting, and noticed that my ballot had been pre-marked, with what looked like black streaks, in the ‘circle’ where you mark your X,” Chris Quarrie posted on Facebook. “I showed the election officials and they were concerned.”

“They threw it out as a spoiled ballot,” he added. “I got another ballot, and it was marked as well, in the same way = a second spoiled ballot (Incidentally, one ballet was marked beside the Conservative candidate, and one beside the Green candidate). I finally got one that was clean.”

“Please make sure your vote counts!” the schoolteacher urged Canadians. “Ask for a clean, unmarked ballot.”

The pre-marked ballots were discovered at West Point Grey United Church in the Vancouver Quadra riding, where Conservative Blair Lockhart is locked in a tight battle against Liberal incumbent Joyce Murray.

Mr. Quarrie’s post has been shared nearly 20,000 times amid widespread fears that Stephen Harper will resort to electoral fraud to cling to power as the Conservative Party of Canada has been convicted of criminally cheating at the last three elections.

The Tories pleaded guilty to the “in and out” Scandal in 2006 while Stephen Harper’s ethics spokesperson and Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro was jailed for electoral overspending and fraud that took place during the 2008 election.

Conservative staffer Michael Sona was jailed over the 2011 Robofraud 2011 Canadian federal election voter suppression scandal.

The not-for-profit Council of Canadians last week launched VoteWatch, a service to report voter suppression Canadians may experience or witness.

“We’re asking voters to be vigilant, given the fraudulent robocalls that marred the last general election and the changes to voter identification requirements,” Garry Neil, Executive Director of the Council of Canadians, said. “If someone tries to stop you from voting or you can’t vote because of the new ID requirements, let us know.”

Meanwhile, international organizations are sending teams to Canada to monitor and assess Canada’s electoral process, especially the impacts of Fair Elections Act and widespread vote suppression tactics adopted by the Conservatives.

[Photo Credit: Dennis S. Hurd]