As if the Ontario Conservatives needed another controversy, a former Tory cabinet minister says glitches with the online voting system for the party’s leadership race could spell disaster, leaving thousands unable to cast a ballot. Frank Klees, a longtime member of provincial parliament who is backing businessman Doug Ford for leader, said Friday that if the problems are not fixed by the time voting starts March 2, the entire party executive should resign. Klees told the National Post he was unable to register to vote online using the secret code sent to him in the mail, and then was told by a party employee that a printing anomaly meant Os appeared as zeroes, Zs as twos and Is as ones.
He eventually managed to register, he said, by replacing a two and zero in his code with the appropriate letters — but is worried that elderly, new-Canadian and computer-illiterate members could be stymied.
“Whoever designed that system is going to exclude, I would venture to say, 75 per cent of the people who bought memberships,” the former transport minister said. “If they think they’ve had problems in the last four weeks, they’ve seen nothing yet.”
Klees sat in the legislature for 19 years and twice ran for the leadership himself. He chose not to seek re-election in 2014.