Alberta election irregularities being challenged in court
Many Albertans were directed to wrong polls, left off voters lists.
An MLA is leading the charge in a legal challenge that alleges many Albertans were unable to vote in last year's provincial election. He is backed by Public Interest Alberta.
"Albertans have a fundamental right to vote, and expect that our elections process will be fair, well run and free of political influence. The 2008 election was deeply flawed in that regard," says Larry Booi, Chairperson of Public Interest Alberta. "Our organization is backing this legal challenge as an important part of our work with concerned Albertans and political parties to address this province's troubling democratic deficit."
"During the last campaign we were shocked at the massive number of Albertans who provided evidence about cases of serious election irregularities," said Kevin Taft, MLA for Edmonton Riverview. "We raised our concerns with Elections Alberta, we raised them in the Legislature and with the Auditor General, all to no avail. So we're turning to the courts. We can't change the past, but we can learn from it and make sure the next election is run properly."
"I have agreed to take on this legal case for free," said Grant Dunlop, the Edmonton lawyer who is bringing the case forward. "I feel the evidence of electoral issues we have gathered must be addressed or the rights of citizens will continue to be infringed. A court declaration would be an authoritative statement that the government would have a hard time ignoring. If we are successful it should lead to real changes in how future elections are conducted."
Joan Cunningham, one of the people from around the province who have come forward to swear affidavits, explained how she witnessed many people who were directed to the wrong polling stations while many others had been left off the voter lists. "I saw lots of people who were very frustrated and left saying that they were not going to vote. We have to do something to force this government to address these serious electoral flaws."
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Posted: December 23, 2009
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