A flyer making the rounds in Victoria claiming to have a method for voting twice is “pretty outrageous,” says University of Victoria political science professor Michael Prince.
It counsels people to use the name and address of someone they know to be dead as part of the scam, and says the UVic polling station is the only place where the process can function.
The flyer makes a reference to Tuesday, which is when advance polling was taking place at UVic, and presents a list of preferred candidates.
“On Oct. 11 we need to maximize votes,” it says. “Don’t let the right wing take over!”
The process presented includes downloading Photoshop, scanning your voter card and adding manipulations.
Using the steps, should they even work, would entail using fraud and misrepresentation, Prince said.
“This is quite troubling, quite disturbing, quite shocking,” he said. “Is it a prank? Is it just kind of a guerrilla tactic of disruption?”
The Local Government Act directs that election officials “take all reasonable precautions to ensure that a person does not vote more than once,” Prince said. “The nuts and bolts of administering the polling stations all falls within each municipality’s jurisdiction.”
Penalties are a provincial responsibility, he said.
“There are serious sanctions about protecting the integrity of the voting systems.”
Individuals who engage in activity such as fraudulent voting or conducting activity contrary to the Local Government Act can be subject to fines up to $5,000 or up to one year in prison.
Elections B.C. spokesman Andrew Watson said the agency has received complaints about the flyer.
“It is outside of our mandate to investigate potential cases of voter fraud in local elections, but we do review any complaint we receive,” he said. “Our role in local elections is to administer the campaign financing and advertising rules established by the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act.
“Once our review is complete we will communicate its outcome to the complainants.”
The City of Victoria said in a statement that there are safeguards in place to ensure the integrity of the election and the voting process.
The statement said the city is confident the scheme that is outlined “would not be successful in getting past our safeguards.”
Those include having all voters required to present identification “regardless if they have a voter card or not.”
Along with that, the city voters list is a digital system that marks people as having voted, once they cast a ballot. The information is updated in real time so that election officials at any voting place can determine if someone has already voted.
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