UCP says report of member receiving 2 leadership vote ballots ‘not a concern’

A UCP member is questioning the mail-in leadership voting process after he received two ballots, although the party itself says there are processes in place to prevent both votes from being counted.

Alan Clarke of Morinville told Global News he received his first ballot by mail on April 25 and has already mailed it back completed. However, he then received a second copy.

“I don’t know what to think. This is absolutely ridiculous,” Clarke said. “I don’t understand how this can be a democratic process.”

Clarke said that while he doesn’t intend to mail in the second ballot, he’s still wondering what is happening behind the scenes.

In-party fighting, including public criticism from sitting MLAs, has become more pointed and vocal in recent weeks after the party executive made last-minute changes in March to distribute mail-in ballots rather than hold an in-person vote in a review of Kenney’s leadership.

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Read more: Premier Jason Kenney encourages ‘disrespectful treatment,’ is destroying UCP unity: Critics

The UCP told Global News there are processes in place to protect the vote in this exact scenario.

“When you vote by mail in any election, there is a verification process that happens when a completed ballot package is returned,” said UCP spokesperson Dave Prisco.

“The verification stage is overseen by scrutineers, just like it is in a provincial election.  Volunteers check the voters’ identification and match it to the voters’ list.

“That is why it is not a concern.”

Prisco added that the party does re-issue ballots if there is something that may have prevented delivery or if a member says they haven’t received theirs yet.

“We err on the side of making sure everyone gets their ballot on time since the verification process prevents somebody from voting twice,” he said.

However, for Clarke, who is a lifelong conservative voter, questions remain on how members can trust the process.

“This stinks to high heaven,” he said. “(I’ve) been involved in leadership elections and (this has) never happened.

“I lost all faith in our electoral system. Especially when it comes to (the) UCP.”

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A Morinville, Alta., man is asking questions after he was sent two separate mail-in ballots for the UCP leadership race. Supplied, Alan Clarke

Read more: ‘I can’t wait for us to finally get this behind us’: Kenney confident in leadership vote victory

Results of the mail-in ballots will be counted from May 11 to 17, and are to be announced May 18.

Click to play video: 'Alberta’s Jason Kenney urges UCP to back him or risk election loss to NDP' Alberta’s Jason Kenney urges UCP to back him or risk election loss to NDP

Alberta’s Jason Kenney urges UCP to back him or risk election loss to NDP – Apr 9, 2022

–With files from The Canadian Press and James Dunn, Corus Radio

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