Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Strange Rumblings In Far West Lotusland: Scrutineers Or...



Update, Lunchtime Tues Apr 23rd....Had a bit of a back-and-forth on the comment thread to this post about whether the students were actually voting or just registering, given that organized advance polls don't happen until the last few days before the general...However, just received confirmation via the Twittmachine from Mr. Eby that the students were, indeed, voting....I outline the how and why in the comment thread...In my opinion, this bit of extra info actually suggests that something not so nice really may have been going down with respect to the 'scrutinizing'...That's explained in the comments as well...

The race between Christy Clark and David Eby in Vancouver-Point Grey is likely to be a close one.

After all, they were only separated by a few hundred votes in the relatively recent by-election.


The votes of kids going to school at UBC who live in the riding (ie. ALL the kids who have lived in residence during the academic year just ending) could be the difference between one candidate winning or losing.

Which means that you would expect that both candidates would be doing all they can to get kids to vote.



Perhaps not.

Zoe McKnight of the VSun has the story. Here is her lede:

Liberal party scrutineers are challenging the proof of residency submitted by some University of B.C. students attempting to vote in Premier Christy Clark’s riding.

A get-out-the-vote campaign sponsored by the New Democratic Party of B.C. brought about a dozen students by bus to the Elections B.C. district office on West Broadway last Wednesday in the riding of Vancouver-Point Grey to vote to cast advance ballots.

But when fourth-year geography and political science student Quinn Runkle tried to use a printout of her university account proving she lives in Acadia House on UBC campus, her residency credentials were challenged by Liberal party members acting as “candidate representatives.”...


I'll stop there for the moment so that we can go and have a look at the Elections BC webpage about how University kids can prove their residency in a riding where they are living while going to school:

School/college/university-issued document 
Examples: admissions letter, report card, transcript, residence acceptance/confirmation, tuition/fees statement, student card


Didn't the student concerned, above, indicate that she had "a printout of her university account proving she lives in Acadia House on UBC campus"?

With that we will now return to Ms. McKnight's VSun piece (but I highly recommend you go and read the whole thing for complete context):

...Liberal party communications officer Sam Oliphant said the party’s scrutineers had concerns about whether a screen shot is unreliable proof of residency.

“We asked for clarification about what would constitute an acceptable proof of residency and whether a screen shot of a residency page or simply showing a smartphone image would be something (Elections B.C.) would accept,” he wrote in an email, adding university transcripts or proof of registration were more commonly used....


Based on that, here's what I would like to know....

Why didn't the spokesperson, a fine fellow named Mr. Oliphant, apologize profusely and explain to the VSun's reporter that the BC Liberal party would stop this practice immediately and tell its scrutineers to actually follow Elections BC's published rules and guidelines rather than assuming they should only accept documents that they perceive are "more commonly used".

Now, of course, one could never possibly imagine that the good Ms. Clark, or any of her volunteers or people that work for her, even those most recently hired, would ever engage in a deliberate voter suppression strategy....Right?
As for the good Mr. Oliphant himself....He sure does get around, eh?
The supreme irony in all this?...Well...While the BC Liberal Party appears to be workin' it, hard, in Vancouver Pt. Grey, their candidate is, most definitely not.



Dana said...

I wish for very little in life now but I wish with all my heart that this abominable Clark woman vanish from the airwaves and from my perceptions after May 15.

Anonymous said...

Advance voting opportunities for an electoral district

76 (1) Advance voting opportunities must be held on the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the week before general voting day for an election.

(2) As soon as reasonably possible after an election is called for an electoral district, the district electoral officer must establish one or more voting places for advance voting opportunities such that voters in different parts of the electoral district have a reasonable opportunity to attend at least one advance voting opportunity.

(3) The voting hours for an advance voting opportunity are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on each day referred to in subsection (1).

Advance voting (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) May 8-11

Might it be that the students were not voting, but registering?

Anonymous said...

Yes it was registration, not voting: .PDF


Either way it's still scummy.

Christy Clark has a long and well documented history of vote tampering.

RossK said...


Ms. McKnight's story clearly states that the kids were voting.

Let me check...


RossK said...

Here's what Ms. McKnight's story says, specifically...

"A get-out-the-vote campaign sponsored by the New Democratic Party of B.C. brought about a dozen students by bus to the Elections B.C. district office on West Broadway last Wednesday in the riding of Vancouver-Point Grey to vote to cast advance ballots.

But when fourth-year geography and political science student Quinn Runkle tried to use a printout of her university account proving she lives in Acadia House on UBC campus, her residency credentials were challenged by Liberal party members acting as “candidate representatives.”

Runkle, who originally hails from the Sunshine Coast, eventually voted, but “in their minds I had insufficient documentation,” she said."

I understand Anon-2-Above's point but Anon-Directly Above's pdf gives the registration drive sites as being open back in March....This must have taken place last week as it was during Olivia Chow's visit, according to the VSunstory.

Could this have been a special poll that district election officers are allowed to set up for voters who will likely not be in the riding on general election day?

I've asked for clarification from Mr. Eby re: voting or registering...

There was, however, also a tweet from Mr. Eby about a separate advance poll at the UBC bus loop on Apr 17th... which suggests that there were special advance polls happening last week.


RossK said...

OK, got it now, I think...

Apparently, the students met at the bus loop on campus last Wednesday (ie. they weren't voting there) and then took the bus down Broadway to the Elections BC district/riding office where anyone who will be absent from the riding on voting day can, indeed, vote in advance (this is often the case with students who live in residence)..

Thus, it was not a special advance poll set up by the district E-BC officer but instead was something that can happen during regular business hours any day during the writ period.


If this is truly what occurred, I actually find this even more interesting because it suggests that the fine folks who were doing the 'scrutinizing', who E-BC spokesperson Don Main confirmed to the VSun reporter were acting on behalf of the CClark campaign, either hangout at the district electoral office all day, every day...



You know...


RossK said...

More specifics on the kids' facebook page.


James King said...

Just as a bit of a contrast let me tell you about the experience my wife and I had when we went to vote on April 13 here in Victoria. We're going to be out of the province from April 30 till May 29 and there's no way we wanted to miss the fun. Naturally, we had no documentation from Elections BC with our name and address on it since that stuff hasn't even been printed yet. We each showed our driving license and then signed a declaration that we lived in the riding and had been living there for the past 3 months and that was all there was to it.

The electoral officer gave each of us a ballot, we filled in the name of the candidate we wanted to vote for (ballots aren't printed yet) and were told all we really HAD to do was write in the name of the party if we weren't aware of who the candidates were.

It couldn't have been easier and the experience for those UBC students should have been equally painless.

There were NO SCRUTINEERS of any kind in the office - as you'd expect.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't an UBC student produce a pill box?

My wife and I, who are seniors, intend to produce our pill box when we vote.

Anonymous said...

WHY doesn't Elections BC have a list of advance polls on their front page?

RossK said...

Thanks JK--

Important comparison...And I would be willing to take pretty short odds that any Point Grey resident that went to that office to vote absentee, say, earlier the same day (or the following day would have had a similar experience to yours)


I hear your snark.

But, again, the kid in the VSun story did EXACTLY what E-BC says she should have done.



I think because the actual advance polls don't happen until a few days before May 14th...If you want to vote absentee (because you will be away on May 14th, as it the case with so many Univ. students in residence - they are all finishing and leaving for the summer in the next week or so) all you have to do is go to the district E-BC electoral office in your riding during regular business hours any day.

Addresses of individual district offices can be found....here.


James King said...

Ross - error in my original post up board here - damn portable devices - should have been April 15...not 13 when we did out little vote thing.

RossK said...

Thanks James.


RossK said...

Dana (at the very top)--


Perhaps we should start a pool re: future prospects on, say, July 1st.

Personally, I'd be willing to take anything above 9 to 5 on Ms. Clark become the new Westcoast bureau chief for the Sun News Network...


Dana said...

Yeah, but that's not a bet I'd take, Ross.

That's certainly one possibility but the problem is that Sun is unlikely to achieve their treasured mandatory status and Clark is nothing if not a slut for attention.

I suspect she's more likely to end up on Global or CTV.

Once you get past the gasping rhetoric there's not a cigarette papers difference between the three.

Anyone thinking my use of the word 'slut' derogates women is right. Baird, Harper and company are attention sluts too and that derogates men, of which I am one.

Live with it.

macadavy said...

Your friendly local District Electoral Office is happy to help you vote any time (9-5,Mon-Fri) after the writ is dropped up until 4pm election day. You don't need to declare you'll be absent from the riding during advance voting or anything like that (though I volunteered that I was volunteering for one of the candidates). No line up, no scrutineers, no rent-a-cop security guards challenging my right to vote, just me, my ID and an opportunity to exercise my franchise. Voting the way it should be - I highly recommend the experience.
And so back down to Denman Street to help re-elect the snazziest dresser (and all around great guy) in the Ledge!