Canada: Voting rights at stake in overturned election case, Supreme Court told | The Chronicle Herald

The voting rights of people in the Toronto riding of Etobicoke Centre were trampled by simple record-keeping errors, the Supreme Court of Canada heard Tuesday. The decision to overturn Conservative MP Ted Opitz’s win in last year’s federal election disenfranchised all the voters whose ballots were thrown out, his lawyer said. “It’s hard to think that a constitutional right of this importance can hang by so fine a thread,” lawyer Kent Thomson told the court. Opitz won the riding by just 26 votes over Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj in last year’s federal election. But Wrzesnewskyj went to court, claiming procedural irregularities. Earlier this year, an Ontario Superior Court judge found that Elections Canada officials made clerical errors at the polls. After Justice Thomas Lederer threw out 79 votes and overturned the final result, Opitz appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

Canada: Tories ask court to toss election challenge | Ottawa Citizen

The Conservative party has asked a court to toss out a series of legal challenges that are attempting to overturn the results from seven ridings in the last federal election, saying the litigation offers no solid evidence that anyone was denied the right to vote. The Conservative candidates who won the seats also claim in motions that the legal action, brought by the citizen advocacy group Council of Canadians, was filed well beyond the 30-day time limit. Citing a pattern of misleading telephone calls made before the May 2 vote, the council in March asked the Federal Court of Canada to set aside the results in seven ridings across the country, a move that would trigger a series of by-elections. Under the Elections Act, any voter can challenge a result by bringing evidence to court showing that electoral fraud or other improprieties affected the result in a riding.

Canada: Toronto riding’s election result tossed by judge | CBC News

Conservative MP Ted Opitz’s 2011 federal election win in Etobicoke Centre was declared null and void today in a challenge by former Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj. Opitz won the May 2011 election by 26 votes, but Wrzesnewskyj challenged the results over voting irregularities. The case required more than 26 votes be thrown out for it to be declared void. Conservative Party spokesman Fred Delorey said they’re disappointed with the court decision after 52,000 people in Etobicoke Centre “followed the rules, cast their ballots and today had their democratic decision thrown into doubt.”