UCP responds to allegations of voting irregularities
After two United Conservative Party leadership candidates raised concerns about possible voting irregularities, the UCP Leadership Election Committee released a statement in response.
In a statement Friday, LEC Chair Robyn Henwood said the committee was “certain of the validity of the process” and said they had asked for evidence, but hadn’t received any.
“We have asked the campaigns to provide evidence to back up their allegations and have received none,” Henwood said in a statement. “To be diligent, we have also undertaken a double check on the process and found no evidence of fraud. As a committee, we have been diligent to ensure a sound and reliable process.”
On Friday morning, interim UCP Leader Nathan Cooper confirmed the Brian Jean and Doug Schweitzer campaigns had submitted formal requests to pause the vote.
The two camps say there are concerns over voter security – specifically, that members can be assigned a new personal identification number (PIN) over the phone, by providing a name and address. And that information is available to all campaigns.
The UCP LEC said a help desk was in place to help registered voters who could not locate their PIN, once the member had verified their identity with details included in the party’s database. Officials said the original PIN would then be disabled.
The party is also tracking IP addresses, and complaints from members related to their PINs, through their online system.
Early Friday afternoon, the LEC said more than 65 percent of registered party members had cast their votes, and the party had heard very few complaints on PIN issues, and most of the replacement PINs were issued before their distribution was completed.
In order to get a new PIN, Cooper said voters would already need to be registered to vote. Cooper said he has not spoken to either the Schweitzer or Jean camps.
“The process is solid, there is opportunity for people who have misplaced or lost their PIN, or didn’t get one to contact the voting system, similar to if you needed to speak to your bank, they ask a number of questions to verify your identity, and then would reissue a PIN,” Interim UCP leader Nathan Cooper told CTV News Friday morning.
“They are taking the appropriate steps to ensure that the safety and integrity of the process is being upheld, and I have full confidence that it is.”
Voting is set to close at 5 p.m. Saturday.
With files from Jonathan Glasgow