MP Maurice Vellacott's theory on robocalls: Could be EC's fault!

Just in from Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott:

March 5, 2012

On the issue of robocalls, as an example, in the 2008 election, my MP and campaign office, had constituents [in Saskatoon-Wanuskewin] phone us from Corman Park north of Saskatoon toward the river, who in systemic fashion, received Elections Canada voter identification cards telling them to vote on the other side of the river in Aberdeen. Not only is that an unreasonably long way to have voters go to cast a ballot, but it’s not even in our Saskatoon-Wanuskewin constituency.

There have been numerous address errors by Elections Canada in every one of 6 federal elections I’ve contested. This is no reflection on our faithful, local Returning Officer, DRO, and their office workers. The errors and misinformation are compiled and compounded by Elections Canada’s head office. We don’t even bother trying to chase down, trace back and correct all these Elections Canada errors anymore. Too much valuable campaign time would be used up on such a project.

Each Party contesting a riding gets a preliminary CD of enumerated voters, and in the final week before polling day, each campaign receives a final voters list on CD.

As these Elections Canada lists of voters have names, addresses (sometimes incorrect) and the poll locations which sometimes EC has to change, but no phone numbers, the political Parties attempt to merge these lists with Canada 411 and other electronic phone books, in order for the campaigns to phone electors.

There is no voter enumeration just before every election any more, but the Elections Canada voter list across the country is updated based on income tax filings or other federal and provincial programs – not a perfect system by any means.

Because Elections Canada too frequently provides incorrect information, and secondly because technological problems occur with trying to merge Elections Canada info for phone lists, there is a significant potential for error.

Hired live phoners or automated calling systems are only as good as the data provided to them. You know the saying, “garbage in, garbage out.”

I suspect that at the end of the day, if Elections Canada has the resources to do a proper investigation, they’ll find they’re themselves significantly responsible, that tech issues with marrying EC lists to available, electronic phone lists is part of the problem, and in a few instances there may have been malfeasance by one Party or the other.

Let’s reserve judgment until the full story comes out.

Maurice Vellacott, MP

3 thoughts on “MP Maurice Vellacott's theory on robocalls: Could be EC's fault!”

  1. The problem with this letter is the lack of knowledge on the real issue here:
    1. Elections Canada does NOT telephone Canadians.
    2. The automated message heard by a large number of Canadians announced itself as Elections, in both official languages.
    This is the issue, there was a real effort to impersonate Elections Canada.
    I don’t know who did it but whoever did need to be held accountable.
    Recordings have been publicized from across Canada. A scheme so vast could only be carried out by:
    1. Someone with access to party voter information database.
    2. Someone with the ability to sort/export from the party voter information database.
    3. Someone with the Account numbers and Passwords for the Robocalling company.
    4. Someone with the knowledge of the Robocalling company’s systems/procedures.
    The answers reside on the system of one of the Robocalling companies.
    On those systems are records of the Account holders, Billing info, Actual Numbers dialed, Outgoing recordings, Access logs, Payment receipts etc.
    I would hope that the information contained in these systems has been seized by now.

    I don’t know who did it, whether it be a party, group within a party or a single person, they must be held accountable.

  2. I had a huge rant all worked out, but it really all boils down to this – if you aren’t willing to do data verification then YOU are to blame. Garbage in, garbage out and all the rest. Did he think that no one whose ever worked on a campaign would read this?

  3. I’ve learned to pay close attention to Maurice’s ‘theories’ over the years. I can’t easily forget his ‘drink shack’ theory to explain the unexplained deaths of aboriginal males found near the Saskatoon Power Plant over a protracted period of time. Never deterred, ever vigilant…that’s our Maurice!! Man, how this man has matured into a true statesman from such meager beginnings! I can hardly wait for his next undercover undercovering!! Don’t discount it because mediocrity has not limits; albeit, he may not know anything of that!!!

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