Voter suppression is a serious crime and nets jail time according to Judge Gary Hearn speaking to the Robocalls affair.
There were at least three pivotal issues in Penticton. This should have ensured the record turnout that heavy advance polls indicated. New voters; long line-ups effectively shut down the system. Many seniors are unable to stand in line for an hour. Examine the lower than normal vote count and draw your own conclusions. Cranbrook had pivotal issues; their entire council bit the dust. Summerland with pivotal issues dramatically changed their council. That is normal. Penticton is abnormal.
Penticton has held many elections; was the combination of civil service/council mishandling deliberate? Closing the second poll station effectively suppressed the vote. Kelowna with three times the population had 13 polls open for the election. Penticton had one.
Who were all the ‘biker types’ flooding the poll place to register to vote for the first time? Where did all those ‘biker’ votes go? Do that many bikers really live here? Examine the vote count and draw your own conclusions. ElectionsBC has jurisdiction over financing of election campaigns. Municipalities oversee their own elections through the framework of the Municipal Charter. They are responsible to ensure open, fair and honest elections. Voters list, scrutineers, counting machines; any irregularities can be reported to the municipality; if they fail to act; next step is the RCMP.
“Many voters are sceptical of these election results: Conspiracy theories; right or wrong; are easy to debunk.“ – Western editorial, Nov 19. Turn all voting materials over to the RCMP: The City’s registered voters list; the signed registering voters list; RCMP should verify all new voters registered in this election; all paper ballots; material and all machinery used in this election whatsoever whether it is vote counting machines; memory cards; computers or laptops. Voter scepticism of a rigged election combined with voter suppression whether intended or not; leaves Council’s mandate dubious. Hold a new election; repair the broken trust. Voters are entitled to more than this screw-up for the next four years. Remove the local civil servants from the election. Open adequate polls; Encourage experienced scrutineers from the community at large to coalesce as a group to monitor all aspects of the election.
People of Penticton; you are entitled to have your vote in an open; fair; responsible and accountable election. You did not have this. What happens next is your decision.