Voting in the PC leadership race proceeded more smoothly Saturday after a rocky start Friday, but some party members tried to cheat the electronic voting process, says a top party official. Kelley Charlebois, executive director of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, declined to elaborate on the attempts to cheat in the race for Alberta’s next premier, but he said Saturday: “We caught them and they won’t be voting.” In addition to the unsuccessful attempts to cheat, a number of party members attempted to vote twice, Charlebois said. “We enabled them to do that so in that case we don’t consider it cheating,” he said. “We’re simply going to disallow the second vote they cast.” Charlebois said party officials didn’t detect anyone voting on behalf of others — which is not permitted — but the party is continuing to monitor phone lines and IP addresses to ensure that is not occurring. The three candidates — Jim Prentice, Thomas Lukaszuk and Ric McIver — declined to comment on the revelations of cheating, but Lukaszuk said he was disappointed about all the problems with the electronic voting process.
He said Saturday he raised a number of concerns about the process early in the race and was assured they would be addressed — and it now appears they weren’t. “The party assured me repeatedly that all weaknesses would be addressed and that the system would be flawless,” he said. “The party was on the record that part of the reason we didn’t have televised debates the last three months was because the party was focusing on the flawlessness of this electronic voting system.”
Lukaszuk said since the polls opened Friday, his office has been flooded with hundreds of calls about problems with the vote. “It would be a denial of the obvious to say it hasn’t been frustrating,” he said.