NEWS RELEASE: Complaint filed with Chief Electoral Officer

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Voter seeks adjournment of election proceedings in Mid Island-Pacific Rim

For immediate release

October 8th, 2020

 

Port Alberni, B.C. –  A registered voter in the Mid Island-Pacific Rim electoral district has filed a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer, alleging that election process is flawed.

Bryce Casavant, a former BC NDP candidate in the 2017 provincial election, says the Chief Electoral Officer may have incorrectly exercised his emergency powers under the Election Act.

Casavant says, “We have a structural problem with this election. The emergency powers of the Chief Electoral Officer have been used to fundamentally alter the protective purpose and intent of the Election Act.”   

In the detailed nine-page complaint, Casavant outlines the manner in which the election was called during the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing that the need to deviate from the Election Act was known by the Chief Electoral Officer as early as April 2020. Casavant adds, “The Election Act is very clear. When amendments to the Act are needed the Chief Electoral Officer must bring a report before the Speaker of the house and that report must be laid as soon as possible before the Legislature for transparent debate.”

But instead of bringing a report before the Legislature, the complaint alleges that the Chief Electoral Officer unilaterally removed large protective and accountability mechanism within the Election Act; in one instance removing a voter’s right to obtain a ballot under Section 105(5) of the Act. “This affects all voters across the province – these proceedings are essentially a dictator’s cookbook on how to conduct a modern coup d’état and seize control of British Columbia amid a provincial crisis”, said Casavant.

The formal complaint calls for the election proceedings to be adjourned, “until such time the provisions of the Election Act and integrity of the election process are restored.”

“Every registered voter across the province, regardless of their political stripes or leanings, should be writing the Chief Electoral Officer. Our democratic process is under siege, we must not sell our future away for political short-term profit.”

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