British Columbia

Liberal voters in Victoria confused after candidate drops out

The departure of a Liberal candidate in Victoria has left some voters confused about whether or not they can still vote for the party in the federal election.

Elections Canada says Liberal vote still counts, election of candidate would trigger byelection

Liberal Party supporters could force a byelection in Victoria if former candidate Cheryl Thomas wins the riding. (Facebook)

The resignation of a Liberal candidate in Victoria has left some voters confused about whether or not they can still vote for the party in the federal election.

Cheryl Thomas resigned her candidacy earlier this month after a social media storm erupted over comments she had made on her Facebook page — but her resignation came too late to remove her name from the ballot.

The problem for voters is a lack of communication over what would happen to their vote if they still check Thomas's name on a ballot.

Jean Oliver lives in Victoria and is a long time Green Party supporter. But in advanced polls, she decided to vote strategically, and cast a ballot for the Liberals by ticking Thomas's name.

Afterward, Oliver told CBC News, she received mixed messages about whether her vote would count, and claims even other party campaigners told her it wouldn't.

She said the question even stumped some Elections Canada officials.

"I got a fellow on the phone who didn't know the answer either, and took quite a bit of care to look into it," Oliver said.

She eventually learned her vote would count, and if Thomas won the riding,  there would likely be a byelection.

But Oliver is worried  that less informed voters will be casting ballots Monday based on misinformation.

"Even those of us that are trying to be informed, can't get informed," she said.

"Nobody seems to have clear answers."

Elections Canada told CBC News there is nothing in the Elections Act requiring it to explain the process to voters. It says the responsibility for that lies with the party, its campaign, and the media.

With files from Farrah Merali

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