Alberta PC leadership vote causes confusion, complaints
Concerns that difficulties casting a vote may cause some to give up
As Albertans cast their ballots online and by telephone to choose the province’s next premier, complaints are increasing about the voting system, with people saying it is confusing, complicated or simply broken.
“I don’t think that the system is going to work at all,” said Linda Coccimiglio, who cast her vote today by phone.
- PC leadership vote to be held online
- INTERVIEW: Ric McIver with the CBC editorial board
- INTERVIEW: Thomas Lukaszuk with the CBC editorial board
Three candidates — Jim Prentice, Thomas Lukaszuk and Ric McIver — are vying to become the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.
Coccimiglio says it took a long time to get through to the phone voting system. When she did, the experience wasn’t exactly reassuring.
“When I finally did get through it was really gargly. Then when it finally went through, they give a receipt number that goes by so fast.… then it kind of shuts off,” she said.
“So you’re kind of concerned, did it really catch or did it not?”
There have been complaints about online voting as well. Complaints on social media say the process is confusing and slow. To log in to the voting system, people must provide their PC membership number, a PIN and their postal code.
People have complained about missing PINs or postal codes that didn’t match their current address.
A number set up to help people who were having problems with the e-voting was overwhelmed by calls Friday morning.
Others, however, were able to vote without any issues.
People who have moved since buying their PC membership are among those who have run into problems, as their address may not match the provincial electoral lists.
Voters are also able to vote at physical polling stations across the province.
Bruce Cameron, who works with the polling firm Return on Insight, says that the issues with the voting system could mean quite a few people will just give up on the process.
"Barring any technical malfunctions, which are always a possibility, just the vetting process that people have had to go through to confirm that they can vote is quite involved,” he said.
“And I think that there are a significant portion of people who have memberships that will not be able to vote.”
The results of the vote will be announced on Saturday.
You can watch a livestream of the announcement on CBC.ca starting at 7 p.m. MT Saturday.