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Mysterious phone calls about polling stations being moved, closed, reported across country

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Residents from Prince George, BC, to St. John's, NL, are reporting receiving calls informing them that their local polling stations have been closed or have been moved.

According to the CBC, Elections Canada was first contacted about the issue on Saturday. Since then, people from across the country have been reporting such calls, many saying they are receiving automated "robo-calls."

Elections Canada is warning people to double-check any information about polling station changes on their site at http://www.elections.ca/ or to call 1-800-463-6868. Some people have reported that the automated calls have said they are from Elections Canada, but that when they arrive at the new address, there is not polling station, according to the Globe and Mail.

Shit Harper Did, a group which has campaigned throughout the elections to get out the vote against Stephan Harper, has also issued a warning, saying in a Facebook post they received reports from people in Guelph, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton &  Prince George. According to the post, they believe many of the calls are occuring in swing ridings; the Globe and Mail is reporting a similar trend.

The Media Co-op has also been informed that people in Winnipeg, MB, Victoria, BC, and St. John's, NL, have also been receiving mysterious and mileading calls.

To date, no one has been able to ascertain where these phone calls are originating from.

If you receive a call, please let us know by posting below or emailing me at tim[at]mediacoop[dot]ca.

Full text of Shit Harper Did post (only accessible via Facebook):

Dear Friends,

Today we are getting reports out of Guelph, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton &  Prince George that people are receiving pre-recorded calls telling them their polling station has changed.  This is a Republican-Style illegal hoax that is being used to keep people from voting!

"there have not been any changes in the voting [locations] - Elections Canada

If you receive one of these calls, DIAL *57 to trace the # and WRITE IT DOWN!

and PLEASE LET ELECTIONS CANADA KNOW

http://www.elections.ca/courEL.aspx?lang=e

+ Pls send us an email to media@shitharperdid.ca  w/ "Vote Hoax" as the subject line.

THIS IS WHERE YOU REALLY VOTE!

 http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/finded.aspx?L=e

From CBC.ca May.1.2011

Elections Canada is warning voters not to trust anyone but the agency itself about where they should vote on Monday after reports that some voters are being told to go to the wrong polling stations — some up to an hour away from their homes.

 http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/story/2011/05/01/cv-election-wrong-polls.html

With Hope,

The SHD Team

UPDATE:

The Guelph Mercury has the most detailed article so far about the tactics being used in Guelph. It seems they are similar to the ones being used across the country:

One variation of the call comes from a live operator who then, if asked for a phone number, offers the number for the campaign office of Conservative candidate Marty Burke. The other call, which seems to be more prevalent, is a message recorded in English and French. It also comes complete with what turns out to be an out-of-service 1-800 number.

These calls are not legitimate. The polling station listed on your voter’s card is still your polling station.

Resident Dan Boyle received a call Sunday. The operator asked if he knew his polling station because “there is a chance it may have changed.”

“I never thought anything of it at the time (Sunday), to be honest,” Boyle said.

But when he received an automated phone call from incumbent Liberal MP Frank Valeriote warning him of the fraudulent calls, he called the local number the operator gave him Sunday. Boyle was greeted with a recorded message from “the Conservative Party of Canada” and asked to leave a message.

“These are American tactics,” Boyle said. “This riding is a mess for whatever reason.”

Callers to the Mercury newsroom have come from across the city. People who are supposed to vote at any number of locations, including Ecole St. Rene Goupil, Ken Danby school and the Best Western Hotel, have received the fake call.

Elections Canada by midmorning had received more than 100 complaints about the phony phone calls.

 


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