NDP calls for inquiry into limited polling stations and long waits on election night

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The NDP has requested an official investigation into the “multiple more systemic failures of election officials” in last month’s federal election.

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NDP national director Anne McGrath has written a letter to Canada’s election commissioner, Yves Cote, calling for an investigation into whether election officials have failed to follow the correct procedures in several rides, allowing citizens to vote on September 20. Not getting the right to vote.

The complaint letter, seen by The Canadian Press, alleges that some polling stations opened late “or none at all”, depriving voters, many of whom were in indigenous communities.


It says that in Kenora, Ont., Indigenous voters were “substantially disenfranchised” because the places where people were expected to vote were not open at all until mid-afternoon.

A dossier of failures compiled by NDP’s lawyers has also been sent to Kota, an independent official who ensures that the election law is properly implemented.

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His office and Election Canada were not immediately available for comment.

Vancouver-based law firm Alevato, Quayle and Roy, counsel for the NDP, allege that there were “system-wide failures of election officials to comply with election procedures.”

The NDP says elections “simply never happened on Election Day” in indigenous communities, including Cat Lake, Poplar Hill, and Picangikam. Polling Station Opens in Grassi Narrows: More than four hours late.

The party alleges that voters’ lists were not ready at some polling stations when polling was open and sent voters away asking them to come back later.

The NDP alleges that in some districts, election officials refused to keep voting open to voters even though they did open late, depriving Canadians of the 12 hours required to cast their votes on Election Day.

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In addition, the party says some voters had to wait in line for up to two hours.

McGrath said in a statement to The Canadian Press, “Election Canada aims to ensure the suffrage of all voters, even those in particularly low-income communities, indigenous and those living in rural/remote communities, and those with disabilities. failed in its responsibility.” .

“What we saw in Indigenous communities in Kenora or urban communities in Toronto, where people were not able to vote or were not given the opportunity to vote, is disturbing and should be decided before the next election.”

McGrath said, “We respect the choices of voters and the results of elections, but Elections Canada’s mandate to ensure that everyone in Canada can participate in our process violates the Elections Act and has been addressed.” should go.”

In its letter to the commissioner, McGrath, the NDP “pre-warned Election Canada” of potential failures based on warning signs emanating from advance elections a week before election day.

“We were promised that action would be taken by Election Canada to ensure that such failures did not repeat themselves on Election Day. Nothing was done. Voters were turned away, sent to the wrong polling places Gone, showed up at locations that opened late or never opened, or largely walked away from the lineup,” her letter says.

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The dossier also complains that the party’s election observers were unable to check the counting of votes, and in one case, the police were allegedly called to escort an NDP lawyer from a polling station.

“Across the country, local Elections Canada officials refused to allow candidate representatives to oversee the counting of ballots when they had a legal right to do so,” the NDP says.

The NDP says it wants an inquiry and action should be taken to ensure that such failures do not recur. It says the mistakes “have caused serious damage to the confidence of Canadians in our electoral system.”

The party says it “understood the election pressure” Canada had to run the election “during a public health crisis”. But McGrath says the agency’s job was “to make it easier for people to vote, not harder.”


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