Fraudulent votes mar Halifax's street makeover contest
Voters didn't 'play by the rules' in Benjamin Moore campaign
A contest to pick a Halifax street for a fresh coat of paint has been tampered with, according to officials with the Halifax Regional Municipality.
"Unfortunately, the same characteristics that made the online poll more accessible and user-friendly also made it more susceptible to those who don’t play by the rules," read a Halifax Regional Municipality release.
Earlier this month, Halifax was one of the cities that won Main Street Matters, a competition between 100 North American communities vying to have paint company Benjamin Moore spruce up a street. As one of the winners, Halifax earned a fresh coat of paint for three blocks of "main street."
The city chose 12 streets for its short list and asked Halifax citizens to vote for a winner. Voters were told to cast their ballot once every 24 hours.
Officials said almost 25 per cent of online votes broke the rules. About 9,600 votes out of 40,000 were invalid.
"Three IP addresses had voted more than 2,500 times," said Brendan Elliott, a spokesman for the Halifax Regional Municipality. "At the end of the day, these votes, we can't trust them."
He said the survey is unsalvageable.
Elliott said the paint company will now pick a winner. Benjamin Moore said it will have the painting finished within a year.
The streets in the running are:
- Agricola Street
- Argyle Street
- Barrington Street
- Birmingham Street
- Blowers Street
- Herring Cove Road
- Main Street
- Portland Street
- Queen Street
- Quinpool Road
- Sackville Drive
- Spring Garden Road