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Election official taken aback by Richmond councillor's claim of double voting

Coun. Carol Day claimed that 'crazy things' happen at elections and people vote 'multiple times.'
Coun. Carol Day was called out on her comments about people casting more than one ballot.

An official with Elections BC and Elections Canada was taken aback at a recent city council meeting where one councillor claimed that “all sorts of crazy things happen” at elections like “people voting multiple times.”

These comments were made by Coun. Carol Day, who later back-tracked when she was called out on them. 

But the comments made Richmond resident Paul Dufour, who has worked for many years for the two arms-length government organizations that run elections, feel like she was saying "you're not doing your job."

Dufour said the election system is set up with cross-references to make sure people can’t vote twice.

“There are checks and balances to catch anyone trying to have a double vote,” Dufour told the Richmond News.

So, hearing this message from a “duly elected” city councillor was an affront to elections officials who work hard to ensure a fair, transparent and secure election, Dufour said.

“It smacks in the face of people who work for Elections Canada and Elections BC,” he added.

Furthermore, he thinks elected officials should be “very careful” about what they say about elections, especially now that there have been media reports of foreign interference in Canadian elections.

In his experience working for federal and provincial elections, Dufour only recalls one time when someone attempted to vote a second time – by mistake, having forgotten he sent in his mail-in ballot – and he was stopped in his tracks.

Dufour worked for Elections BC as a deputy district elections officer for five years and for Elections Canada as an automation coordinator for one year.

“I have true confidence in the system because I’ve been part of the system,” Dufour said.

When Day was called out on her statement at Monday’s city council meeting, she seemed to back-track and talked about “busloads of people” brought in to vote at candidate nomination meetings where parties elect a candidate to run under their party banner.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie told Day she should be “precise” about what she’s saying, calling her remark about people voting multiple times “inflammatory.”

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