Doug Ford is raising concerns about possible voter fraud in the coming PC leadership vote.
Ford’s campaign is asking organizers to remove from the eligible voting list anyone whose PC Party membership was purchased with a pre-paid credit card.
“As the voting process has continued to unfold, we have grown increasingly concerned with the validity of a number of the currently registered members,” lawyer Steven Thiele wrote on behalf of the campaign to PC party brass. “We were surprised and disappointed to hear of the large-scale use of prepaid credit cards to pay for new memberships — a clear violation of the membership rules.
“Prepaid credit cards have long been associated with the practice of signing up fake members, and as a part of a larger effort to commit voter fraud,” Thiele said.
Eligible PC members begin voting online Friday for the party’s next leader, and the results will be announced March 10.
It’s impossible to track the true purchaser of a membership with the pre-paid card, the Ford campaign missive says.
“The new member may not even be aware the purchase has been made on their behalf, and may not even be the person who ultimately casts their ballot,” Thiele says.
Similar concerns arose during the last federal Conservative campaign, he noted.
The Ford campaign is asking that all current active memberships who paid with a pre-paid credit card be stripped from the eligible voter list.
Leadership contender Christine Elliott said she has confidence in the party’s executive to ensure a clean and legitimate voter list.
“As (PC interim leader Vic Fedeli) rightfully noted, the members of this party deserve to have the assurances that their party, our party, is not diluted with fictitious memberships,” she said in a statement. “If we are to lead this province on integrity and transparency, we need to set the example from within our very own party.”
In a statement, leadership candidate Caroline Mulroney said her campaign has raised issues with the party’s voting process, including the use of “burner” cards to buy multiple memberships.
Read the full story over at the Toronto Sun.