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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Bring Back Ballot Box Voting

I was SO TICKED when I found out one month before the municipal elections were to be held, that Russell Township had voted UNANIMOUSLY to have another piece of our Canadian heritage removed without consultation, that I started a Facebook page called “Bring back ballot box voting”.

That’s right.  Russell Township, where property taxes EXCEED that of neighbouring City of Ottawa, are now allow ONLY online or telephone voting. 

NO sanctuary of a private voting booth for those that may live in abusive homes.  NO need to produce identification that you are who the voting card says you are, and NO ability to vote without some form of identification being attached to your vote; from ISP addresses to caller ID, to electronic scan at a polling station. 

When I contacted my Conservative MP Pierre Lemieux, in the hopes that the feds could stop this removal of what I consider, is a Canadian RIGHT, I was told that they were so opposed to it, that they are bringing in legislation against electronic voting.  Legislation that, for some reason, could ONLY apply to federal elections but NOT to Municipal or provincial elections

What ever happened to “the law of the land”?  What sort of cop out is that?  If it’s illegal federally, how could it NOT be illegal at every other level?

Then I heard about the guy in South Stormont that was CAUGHT voting electronically more than once because he bragged about it…and plead guilty. 

Having worked elections at the federal and provincial elections and having been responsible for collecting feedback on voting irregularities, and having submitted to Elections Ontario over 2300 voting irregularities in Glengarry/Prescott/Russell alone, that they sloughed off, and that were mainly the results of MPAC incompetence and more, I am already VERY cynical of the regular, paper ballot voting procedure and advance polling privacy and security issues.

So, when I see headlines in the Ottawa Citizen on October 1, 2014 that read, “Ottawa voter information 'worst list we've had,' elections manager  says” or when Global News reports on October 17, 2014  “Toronto voters complain about missing voter cards during advance polls”,  why on earth would anyone believe that MPAC would get voting cards correct in Russell Township? 

Well, I wasn’t disappointed.  Our voting cards arrived early last week, including one for our youngest daughter, who has lived and voted in Ottawa for at least five years.  She received her TRUE voting card, also from MPAC, in Ottawa to vote in the riding where she lives. 

Please understand that with electronic or telephone voting, all you need is the PIN number that is right there on the card, and a birthdate.  No production of ID or removal of any face covering required to vote.  So, our daughter could vote both in Ottawa and in Russell Township, or anyone in our household that knows her birthdate and sees the card with the PIN, could email a vote instead of her.

Also understand that she did NOT receive voting cards that past two (2) elections at our Russell Township address - only the Ottawa address. So, why DID she get one this time, MPAC?  Could it be BECAUSE of electronic voting and the fact that our last name is considered a “Liberal” name this occurred, just like when we recorded over 2300 voting irregularities, one of which was a former long-time family Liberal supporter turned Conservative, who received 3 voting cards to 3 different towns, with only the town name different on each card.

No matter how one cuts it, the ONLY way to have a truly HONEST election, is at a polling station with paper ballots that go into a box, NOT counted electronically by a swipe, but by those working at the polling station along with scrutineers and whoever else wishes to be there to witness the count.  This way there is actual, physical proof that everything is on the up-and-up because proof is something that will be sorely lacking in Russell Township this municipal election. 

If you want to stop this insanity, demand from your politicians AT ALL LEVELS, the right to have the sanctuary and privacy of a polling booth, along with the proof of an unmarked paper ballot, to be reinstated immediately and electronic and telephone voting banned at ALL levels.  Then talk to your friends, family and co-workers and make sure they understand why electronic voting should never replace the historical, proven Canadian way of voting.  What is wrong with tradition?  There’s TONS wrong with “the new way”, it sure ain’t the good way, and it’s time for electronic voting to hit the highway before it’s too late.

Bring back Ballot Box voting PLEASE!!!

Beth Trudeau

Embrun, Ont.



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