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Elections Canada launches complaint form for fraudulent calls

Elections Canada today announced a new complaint form for voters who believe they may have received misleading or harassing phone calls during last year's federal election campaign.

In a news release posted on its site, Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand wrote:

• The issue of fraudulent calls received by electors during the May 2, 2011 general election resulted in complaints that have been under review and investigation by the Commissioner of Canada Elections since that time.

• Following media reports in recent days, the issue referred to as "robocalls" has generated much concern and interest among Canadians. Many have contacted Elections Canada, as well as the media, various political parties and/or their representatives and other organizations, to provide information. In addition, the House of Commons recently adopted a unanimous motion calling on all members of Parliament and political parties to assist in the investigation.

• In order to facilitate the complaint process and ensure that information is provided directly to the Commissioner of Canada Elections, Elections Canada has developed an online complaint form that complements the traditional channels by which complaints about the electoral process are lodged with Elections Canada and/or the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

• Elections Canada invites electors who believe that fraudulent calls interfered with their right to vote, or who have information about such calls, to use the complaint form available from its website home page to provide details. The information provided will be used solely for this matter and, where appropriate, will help to guide the investigation by the Commissioner of Canada Elections. For information about the Commissioner’s investigative process, please consult the Information Bulletin on Enforcement of the Canada Elections Act.

• Some organizations have set up their own processes to gather the concerns and complaints of electors. To avoid confusion, Elections Canada asks those political parties, members of Parliament, candidates, their representatives and any organization collecting or receiving information to direct electors to the complaint form on the Elections Canada website.

• The collaboration of political representatives and other organizations is much appreciated.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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