Claiming that anyone engaged in voter suppression is a serious charge and anyone caught doing it should face the legal penalties outlined in the Elections Act. But as we’ve been saying there is a lot of noise and limited evidence so far. I’d like to see more evidence if Canadians really are talking about the “largest case of electoral fraud in Canadian history” as at least on MP has put it.
I asked for and received a copy of the same access to information records that Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher of Post Media said they used for their original story. I’m sure they have other documents but this is the ATIP they used. You can read the thing below in full, it was a request for email traffic from Elections Canada on voting day.
While it does mention calls from people claiming to be from Elections Canada and misdirecting people in Guelph it doesn’t really shed much light on the subject that was not already known.
Beyond this post-mortem comment from Elections Canada:
“There was no conduct reported that would bring into question the integrity of the election result overall or the result in a particular riding. Although misconduct was reported in several ridings, there is no complaint that it affected the final result. There is some speculation in the media that the dirty tricks may have affected the result in some close contests.”
The document goes on to describe misleading calls in Guelph and the fact that some activity is legal but seen as “unfair” by candidates.
What is fascinating is that the “robocall” issue takes up perhaps three pages of 190 pages released.
Most of the rest of the document consists of reports of returning officers, deputy returning officers and other elections workers not showing up, not bringing the ballots, or leaving early. On page 158 you can read about the RCMP being called in to find a DRO and poll clerk in Fond-du-Lac. The polling station was reported closed, the Mounties found them out having dinner and ordered them back to work.
From these pages it would appear more people had their voting attempt interrupted or put off by missing elections workers that “robocalls.”
We should all remember that it was McGregor that brought the world the “in and out” story which was the last big scandal of widespread election rigging which resulted in a plea deal over administrative charges and not the criminal conspiracy it was played as at time. Are we facing the same thing again? Time will tell.
Read the document yourself.