Ontario Cracking Down On Election Fraud
McGuinty Government Introduces Strong New Legislation To Protect Voters
Ontario is cracking down on election fraud to protect voters from misleading phone calls and other attempts to prevent them from voting in a provincial election.
Based on reports of potential fraud during the last federal election, the government is strengthening Ontario's Election Act and will introduce changes that would, if passed, make it illegal, with a fine of up to $25,000 and up to two years less a day in prison per offence, to:
- impede or attempt to stop a citizen from voting by providing false information directly or indirectly, such as providing them with the incorrect polling station where they should be voting in a provincial election
- impersonate or ask someone to impersonate an election official, an employee of Elections Ontario, a provincial candidate, or a representative of a candidate, political party or constituency association
- direct or hire someone or a company to commit the above offences.
- Provincial elections are held every four years in Ontario. The next election is scheduled for October 6, 2011.
- Penalties for existing offences under the Election Act, such as voting twice or providing false residency information, would also increase from a maximum fine of $5,000 up to $25,000, and up to two years less a day in jail.
“Anyone interfering with a person's right to vote by misinformation is committing fraud. We are cracking down on these mischievous acts to stop these culprits. They will face fines up to $25,000 and time in jail.”