THUNDER BAY – Ontario is cracking down on election fraud, MPP Bill Mauro announced today. In response to reports of potential fraud in the last federal election, the McGuinty government is proposing changes to the Ontario Election Act that would protect voters from misleading phone calls and other attempts to prevent them from voting in a provincial election.
Under the proposed rules, anyone who deliberately provides incorrect voting information or tries to impersonate an Elections Ontario official, among other things, could face a fine of up to $25,000 and a sentence of up to two years less a day. Specific offences would include:
* impeding or attempting to stop a citizen from voting by providing false information directly or indirectly, such as providing them with the incorrect polling station where they should be voting, in a provincial election;
* impersonating an agent or representative of Elections Ontario, a provincial candidate, or a representative of a candidate, political party or constituency association; or
* directing or hiring someone or a company to commit the above offences.
“Voting freely without interference is fundamental to our democracy. Recent allegations about voter interference and misinformation in the federal election make this legislation timely and I hope it will be supported by the opposition parties,” stated Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan.