Problems at the polls widespread during advance voting

Elections Canada, beset by funding cuts and prohibitive restrictions on their ability to promote voting, warned their workers a few weeks ago to keep their eyes open for dirty tricks this election.

Already, after four days of advance polling, there are signs of some serious systemic issues.

Massive line-ups in opposition-leaning ridings.

Widespread and inexplicable issues with voter registration. (Seriously, click through and read some of these stories, especially those first two links.)

Even reports of multiple pre-marked ballots.

Maybe folks are just being paranoid, seeing a vast Conservative conspiracy lurking behind every delay and glitch – but a little paranoia is justifiable when the ruling party has committed electoral fraud in each of its three election victories, and then went on to underfund the agency charged with investigating electoral fraud.

What we do know is that the more obstacles there are to voting, the more difficult it will be for folks to vote, especially for folks who are time-strapped or have mobility issues or who basically aren’t super-determined and assertive.

Whether these issues are caused by the poor level of funding for Elections Canada or behind-the-scenes malfeasance or some combination of the two, this pattern of events is extremely worrying and completely unacceptable.

If you’re going to vote on Election Day, leave yourself as much time as you can to vote, keep your eyes open for any issues with your ballot, and be sure to share anything questionable that happens to you on social media. These stories become all the more powerful when there are many of them!

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