March 06, 2018

Doug Ford's request to extend the leadership election is disingenuous

Eitan GilboordGuest Post

Doug Ford has called on the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party to extend voting in its leadership election for an additional week.

But Ford doesn’t just want to extend voting:

He has called for the implementation of a physical voting location in each Ontario riding.

This is not only unrealistic, but would be impossible to implement. The leadership election organizing committee (LEOC) should not waste a moment entertaining Ford's request. 

Full disclosure: I helped coordinate the last Ontario PC leadership election, and I remember all too well the months of preparation it took.

In order to have ballot boxes in each riding, the first step would be to find a local person in the riding to facilitate the vote. That means having one neutral “returning officer” (or "RO") who is agreed upon by each of the leadership campaigns and LEOC.

At this point in the leadership race, most capable party activists have aligned themselves with a campaign, and considering the many allegations of “rot” in the PC party over candidate nominations, trusting a non-neutral RO to facilitate a leadership election could be problematic.

But for a moment, let’s pretend that LEOC could find and coordinate having a neutral and competent RO in each riding.

Then that RO would have to book a voting location. The voting location would need to be accessible to all members, and in large rural ridings, often you would need more than one voting location.

Each of these voting locations would need to be open on at least two different days, allowing people an option of when to go and vote in person.

Once the location is confirmed, the party would have to ship out a secure voting box to the RO as part of a complete election kit. You can’t use any old box; it has to be a secure box that can’t be tampered with. Elections Canada sells these boxes, but they can take weeks to deliver.

But let's assume that the party has leftover boxes from the last leadership election, or maybe Staples has a product that will suffice.

The next step would require that at the end of each voting day, the RO will have to seal the voting box with special tape, then put the box in a transparent garbage bag and seal that with a certified Ontario PC tape. Sealing is required to eliminate any potential for ballot box stuffing. This ballot box sealing process would have to be watched by campaign scrutineers.

Then LEOC would have to work with the party and a security team to pick up all of the boxes from a secure location and transport them to Toronto to have the ballots counted. In order for this to be completed in a timely manner, the party would have to charter a plane to pick up the boxes in northern Ontario.

Once all of the boxes made it to Toronto, the party would need a team of about 15-30 neutral people to stay up all night and count ballots. These people would be required to give up any communication devices so the results would not be leaked.

The party would have to get food and accommodations for the ballot counting volunteers and hire an independent auditor to monitor the counting.

So, I suppose that if all of that could be accomplished in a week, then sure Doug, let’s do it! But that process can not be completed in a week, and I suspect that the Ford campaign knows this. It could be that Ford’s announcement was more about setting himself up for a loss to Christine Elliot, rather than actually making sure everyone can vote.

Considering the resources required, it was obvious that in such a short period of time, the only plausible way to conduct a “one-member one-vote” leadership election would be online.

If I were advising LEOC, I would have suggested looking into adding in-person voting in four or five locations: Toronto, Ottawa, London, Sudbury, and Thunder Bay.

But even that could be problematic.

I suspect the Doug Ford campaign knows how unrealistic this is, but if it’s true that Ontario PC Party members have yet to receive a ballot, then yes, something needs to be done.

Comments
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commented 2018-03-07 16:36:09 -0500
Your needle is stuck again buddy.
commented 2018-03-07 16:13:44 -0500
So what? The new leader is being announced Saturday and that’s it. Nothing can be done. Any issues will hopefully fixed for the next election. You are not going to get the result you want. Wasn’t Eitan clear enough for you?
commented 2018-03-07 16:10:59 -0500
Looks like The Rebel staff is getting small and smaller. Christopher Wilson, Holly Nicholas and Mark Latham are gone.
commented 2018-03-07 16:05:53 -0500
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB3mai0Wxtg&feature=youtu.be
Remember this?

“Doug Ford and Tanya Granic Allen have raised concerns over the security and legitimacy of the vote. Doug Ford, during a telephone townhall, stated he believed “party elites” and “the establishment” would try to steal the election and said “there should be security cameras on the servers”.14"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Conservative_Party_of_Ontario_leadership_election,_2018

If there is no extension announced by the end of today — today March 7 is the last day to register.
commented 2018-03-07 15:16:10 -0500
But what are you going to do about it? Eitan already said it’s been Ford and Elliott and a leader is going to be picked on Saturday. It’s done.
commented 2018-03-07 15:10:24 -0500
That remains to be seen.
Its not good enough.
If it isn’t dealt with. the result of the contest will be tainted and cast even more suspicion on the party.
commented 2018-03-07 14:53:08 -0500
It may not be acceptable, but nothing can be done with this particular election. Look, it was going to be Elliott vs. Ford anyway. It’s not like Tanya had a chance to win if only more people could have voted. There are election fucks up almost with every election – this will be no different, but hopefully things will be improved NEXT TIME.
commented 2018-03-07 14:48:59 -0500
The goal is to provide an efficient means to an end, which respects all the criteria, not just some of the criteria, in the name of cheaper or faster or more modern. Cheaper and faster are good but not at the cost of stepping on the rights of the voting members. Saying its okay that hundreds of thousands being left out of the process is ‘no big deal’, or ‘maybe can be addressed next time’, is not acceptable in a democratic society.
This goes for voter rights, religious rights, parental rights, human rights, you name it. A solution which only meets the needs of a portion of the population AT THE EXPENSE of the others — is not a solution. It is elitist. It is the subtle delivery of ‘quelling’ whether deliberate or not.

I agree with many here, I want my ballots counted by several people in a secure location, keeping each other honest. I want all but the very ill to have paper ballots and a pencil on which they mark their choice, which they then drop into a box. There is no price on a fair, trustworthy and accessible voting process. What do we have if we don’t have that?
Leaving 100,000 out is not acceptable. Seriously, how many of them put their addresses in improperly? I doubt many. As fear as the pin problem is concerned, if we didn’t have electronic voting we would eliminate that and other problems as well.
Voting at your designated voting place in your own community is not a new concept. It also makes potential recounts easier and more honest.

Ron Joseph, I don’t think anything but names are in view on petitions., but if you are correct I will never sign another one.
commented 2018-03-07 14:36:08 -0500
For the last time, the sex-ed curriculum was not written by a pedophile. This has been debunked endlessly, but dummies here still want to use that false information as a talking point:

Myth

This curriculum was designed by a pedophile.

Key words/phrases:

“Ben Levin,” “Benjamin Levin,” “child pornographer,” “should want to distance themselves,” “alleged child molester.”

Truth:

It is very unfortunate that a man charged with multiple counts relating to child pornography had a hand in developing the failed 2010 curriculum. This does not change the fact that the current curriculum is outdated by almost two decades and in dire need of updating. It probably would have been the easier choice for the government to leave the curriculum issue alone for a few more years to let people forget about Ben Levin before quietly reintroducing it (or not bothering at all), but they chose to persevere with the new curriculum.

Many other people, including education, child development, and policy experts, as well as 4,000 heads of school parent councils across Ontario, were involved in developing the 2015 curriculum, LEVIN NOT INCLUDED. The proposed changes are research-supported and intended to make children less vulnerable to exploitation, including over the Internet.
commented 2018-03-07 14:19:19 -0500
Ron, I get what you are saying, & I ask, did Sheila really leave that petition sitting there?
Did you ever get in touch with her to ask what she did with the petition after the segment was recorded?
If you asked and didn’t get a reply, please ask Ezra and Eitan to look into this and respond to you.
commented 2018-03-07 14:18:35 -0500
This is a situation where we are going in different directions, though none of us are wrong.
If I had a situation where my vote was of great importance, I would have to agree with Flat Earth, Flat Water.
To cast my ballot, I drive 12 blocks, show some ID, and someone in front of a bunch of witnesses gives me the ballot which I put a black X on it . Then 3 witnesses fold it and watch me put it in a box, then it is counted in front of 4 people. I have had the counting job.
It is not fool proof, but we don’t have to rely on outside people or technology where some of the users are not properly trained. (The Nuclear bomb scare in Hawaii.)
commented 2018-03-07 13:54:24 -0500
Tammie P-Z—That’s why a few of us were so upset when Sheila left the 12,000 name Petition on the ground at Bonn Germany.
When we think about it .those petitions have" everything" including our E-mail #’s and Political preference which is important these days for security reasons.
commented 2018-03-07 13:42:56 -0500
Your statement " "Let’s be realistic, basic technological literacy is essentially mandatory for economic participation these days. "
Well, you left the door wide open!
Oh Andrew, you completely forgot about highly skilled tradespeople. They are paid very well.

Not my problem you expect people to mind read!
commented 2018-03-07 13:18:13 -0500
“You said, "Let’s be realistic, basic technological literacy is essentially mandatory for economic participation these days. "
Not true, we still use cash in our society, we still have bank tellers and cashiers. There are people of all ages who choose not to use credit cards; debit cards; on-line banking etc….They participate in keeping the economy rolling despite your assertion. :

I’m not even talking about credit cards etc. I’m talking about even getting a job. There are very few jobs that dont’t require or substantially benefit from basic proficiency with computers, almost nothing well-paid, and the few that don’t aren’t going to last much longer. Computer literacy now, is roughly akin to actual literacy a century ago – didn’t need it, but your prospects were definitely a lot bleaker.

Having a credit card isn’t completely mandatory, but it’s getting pretty close – it’s hard to build a credit history to get a mortgage or even a lease without one, and go ahead and try traveling without one. Is it even possible to rent a car with cash?

“Back in the day when 649 first came out it was won every week when it was spun like bingo balls with far far fewer players” You don’t expect someone to win every week, were it truly random. They still use the ball draw for 6/49, though even those are hard to make truly random since even subtle variations in their weights can influence outcomes.

“Flat earth. .Flat water commented 2018-03-07 12:13:10 -0500
Why take the chance Ron..?? One person one paper ballot one vote.!!”

Again, paper ballots are actually easier to forge than electronic ones, since it requires a lot more handling, the authentication process itself is susceptible to human error (accidental OR deliberate). You don’t even get basic verification such as a checksum, among the most rudimentary validations, with paper ballots. and you have a lot more single points of failure with paper ballots than electronic.
commented 2018-03-07 12:14:28 -0500
Ron Joseph, identity theft is a big concern, which can lead to opening credit card accounts etc…
commented 2018-03-07 12:13:10 -0500
Why take the chance Ron..?? One person one paper ballot one vote.!!
Back in the day when 649 first came out it was won every week when it was spun like bingo balls with far far fewer players… Now that it’s a computer-generated with a vastly greater number of players, the random number (ya right) can go weeks without a winner driving up the jackpot. It can be programmed for any number of things including which city you want the player to win in, even which neighbor hood..
Computers can be very subtly programmed so why would you want your election hinging on one.!! The only way the computer draw would work is if people were given a receipt for that election for who they voted for him so if there was any discrepancies the receipts could be counted.
commented 2018-03-07 12:12:00 -0500
Andrew, understanding how to navigate the software for a specific field (with the provided training) is not the same thing as being computer literate.
You said, "Let’s be realistic, basic technological literacy is essentially mandatory for economic participation these days. "
Not true, we still use cash in our society, we still have bank tellers and cashiers. There are people of all ages who choose not to use credit cards; debit cards; on-line banking etc….They participate in keeping the economy rolling despite your assertion.

It’s not ageist to recognize my in-laws who are in their eighties do not want to use computers or IPads. There are seniors who have decided to learn and are quite proficient with technology….others are simply not interested as it doesn’t fit in with interests and lifestyle.
commented 2018-03-07 11:52:08 -0500
Liza Rosie—When I said why would anyone care about a small Canadian Election except the Ont. voters, I meant to say why would a Russian Hacker care or any Hacker for that matter? There doesn’t seem to be any financial gain like getting information from Target etc..
commented 2018-03-07 11:12:48 -0500
Mark Chadwick commented 2018-03-07 08:48:14 -0500
“Written by a sex offender”

Here’s the curriculum. Which part is the actual problem? Specify which grade and line, please?

The problem with the sex-offender comment is that it completely ignores the curriculum itself, the implication is that you can’t actually criticize the curriculum, so you’re trying guilt-by-association and hoping it sticks. Nonsense, obviously. If there’s a problem it should be directly evident in the curriculum itself… again, I ask, what is the problem, and let’s make sure it’s something that’s actually in it.
commented 2018-03-07 11:09:11 -0500
“My Dad works with a computer all day, and doesn’t want to use one in his spare time. He would rather build something in his workshop or pursue his other hobbies in lieu of social media. I know he would say something like, “How the hell do I upload ID? Where is the explanation from CPC? The hotline is a joke, kept getting disconnected!””

If he works with a computer, he can probably figure it out. “I don’t want to” is not the same thing as “I can’t”.

Let’s be realistic, basic technological literacy is essentially mandatory for economic participation these days. It’s ageist to say that old people cant’ take it up – because they can and do. Not wanting to is different, and I have a lot less sympathy for that.

“ron joseph commented 2018-03-07 01:17:06 0500
Tammie Putinski -Zandbelt —Yes, if they can Hack Target, Yahoo, and the Pentagon, I guess a small Canadian Election would be easy, but why would anyone care who wins except the Ontario People.
I feel that having the Post Office involved is a Security Issue unless they supply trackable envelopes or code bars, so you can at least see if your vote got in. ’
Physical tokens seem safer, but they’re not; simply a matter of perception. Physical forgery is far simpler than electronic forgery – you only have to alter one item (multiple authentication is nearly impossible by hand, otherwise you’re still back into the electronic backend) whereas electronic databases distributed redundantly across separate networks? Basically impossible to get into all at the same time, and if you get into one, the discrepancy is instantly noticeable. It’s the same thing as the financial industry – people are leery of the computers but it’s almost always the physical media that’s compromised, and most “hacks” passively retrieve information rather than malevolently alter data for the simple reason that passive retrieval is a lot harder to notice, vs the near
impossibility of modifying all the computers in a distributed network at the exact same time.

Interestingly, although blockchain is far too often touted as a solution to everything, it actually is here, in that the output is a product of every single input. You can’t change a single vote without affecting the final product, when distributed across multiple servers it makes it very easy to notice a rogue computer trying to meddle with the results and track down the problem. The only way to manipulate such a system is essentially ballot stuffing, which is far easier to do with physical ballots than electronic.
commented 2018-03-07 08:48:14 -0500
Bob I doubt anyone that has seen the sex-ed program supports it . Written by a sex offender . Do you even have kids ? Probably not .
Get real and go for ride . You sound a lot like James dumbass Cricket .
commented 2018-03-07 08:19:20 -0500
My in-laws did not want to learn how to use a computer or I-Pad, they prefer visiting over the phone or in person. You can’t force people to use technology in their everyday lives if they have no interest in it.

My Dad works with a computer all day, and doesn’t want to use one in his spare time. He would rather build something in his workshop or pursue his other hobbies in lieu of social media. I know he would say something like, “How the hell do I upload ID? Where is the explanation from CPC? The hotline is a joke, kept getting disconnected!”
He still uses a flip phone and plans to get rid of it when he retires next year, he keeps it so he can accept overtime shifts if he wishes.
commented 2018-03-07 07:56:54 -0500
Ron Joseph said in part, “I feel that having the Post Office involved is a Security Issue unless they supply trackable envelopes or code bars, so you can at least see if your vote got in.”

Yes, that would give the voter a mechanism to confirm their ballot was received.
commented 2018-03-07 04:29:37 -0500
When voting goes online and it becomes electronic it just won’t matter anymore and the fools can’t see it.. The fools think there will be room for them and their children at the top thinking they’ll have it better under communist rule than they will if they had to work for a living… Communists usually murder everybody who helped get them there including family because what the fools don’t understand is there’s only room for one at the top.
commented 2018-03-07 02:44:03 -0500
Aside from the fact that I was born there, grew up there and still have people there, that election could effect the political climate right across the country. It matters to me who gets in very much. It is an important election.
commented 2018-03-07 01:17:06 -0500
Tammie Putinski -Zandbelt —Yes, if they can Hack Target, Yahoo, and the Pentagon, I guess a small Canadian Election would be easy, but why would anyone care who wins except the Ontario People.
I feel that having the Post Office involved is a Security Issue unless they supply trackable envelopes or code bars, so you can at least see if your vote got in.
commented 2018-03-07 01:17:06 -0500
Tammie Putinski -Zandbelt —Yes, if they can Hack Target, Yahoo, and the Pentagon, I guess a small Canadian Election would be easy, but why would anyone care who wins except the Ontario People.
I feel that having the Post Office involved is a Security Issue unless they supply trackable envelopes or code bars, so you can at least see if your vote got in.
commented 2018-03-07 00:34:10 -0500
It’s happened with paper voting. Animals too.
commented 2018-03-07 00:09:29 -0500
Even dead people can vote electronically….amazing isn’t….
From The Ground Up