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Ballots are confusing: Serviss campaign

BY JASON THOMPSON jason@northernlife.ca Sudbury's Conservative candidate Kevin Serviss is concerned his supporters may be confused at the ballot box.
BY JASON THOMPSON

Sudbury's Conservative candidate Kevin Serviss is concerned his supporters may be confused at the ballot box.

Serviss wants changes made to the ballot in order to clarify between between his party, the Conservative Party of Canada, and the party of Progressive Canadian (PC) candidate Stephen Butcher.

Elections Canada says there won't be any changes to the ballots.

In a written statement, Serviss said his campaign office received dozens of calls from voters who were either "confused" into incorrectly casting their ballots, or "bewildered" by the ballot designation during early polling.

On the ballots, Serviss is identified as a "Conservative/Conservateur" while Butcher's ballot designation is "PC Party." The Conservative Party was created by an alliance between the Reform Party of Canada and the former Progressive Conservative (PC) Party. There is still a Progressive Conservative Party in Ontario.

To add to the confusion, Butcher was a candidate for the Conservative Party in the 2004 federal election.

"Nothing will be done to change the abbreviations, which is what he (Serviss) is upset about," said Elections Canada media representative Rejean Grenier.

"When a party registers, all of these things, like the name of a party, the abbreviations under which it will be known as and all of those things are settled at that time and looked into by all kinds of people. Once that's done, that's done...You don't change it a week before a vote."

"And we don't change it in the middle of advance polling," Grenier said.

"A party that feels something is wrong in the process always has an option to file a complaint with the commissioner of Elections Canada (Raymond Landry)," said Grenier.

Any complaints made by political parties are kept secret since the commissioner has a policy never to either confirm or deny, or even admit that a complaint was received.

Despite the ruling by Elections Canada, Serviss's campaign team was still upset by the situation.

"This is an unacceptable response," said Greg Mayhew, Serviss's campaign manager. "It is the responsibility of Elections Canada to ensure that the democratic process is not tainted or thwarted."

Mayhew said that if Elections Canada didn't change ballot designation, Canadians would be robbed of their democratic right to have their voices heard.



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