Missing ballots and donations, combined with last-minute rule changes, have two contenders for the federal Green party’s leadership questioning the legitimacy of the race.
Leadership hopeful Glen Murray said Wednesday that the ultimate results, to be tallied Saturday, will likely be announced before the total picture is thought about how a lot of his campaign donations never got properly forwarded from the central party.
The Green party said Tuesday it by chance kept hundreds of dollars in donations that were imagined to go to Murray, leaving him with significantly less money to make use of for campaigning.
And on top of missing money, his campaign is now hearing from some individuals who said they signed as much as vote for him but never got an email to inform them the right way to accomplish that.
Greater than 99 per cent of the Green’s 35,000 members opted to vote electronically within the race, and were to be sent an email telling them the right way to vote when balloting opened on Sept. 26.
Murray said his campaign has not yet confirmed “anecdotal” reports of supporters not getting ballots. He urged patience as things get discovered but couldn’t keep the frustration out of his voice as he acknowledged there could also be no way for the party rectify what has happened.
“I’ve had higher weeks to be honest,” he said.
He said his campaign is planning to satisfy Sunday to attempt to get a final handle on how much money got donated to him, but was by chance kept by the party. That can nonetheless be the day after the winner is announced.
“That may be a problem,” he said. “The party has to have a serious conversation in regards to the impact of all of this stuff.”
One other leadership hopeful, Montreal immigration lawyer Meryam Haddad, said she can also be getting complaints about supporters not getting ballots. Haddad, who last week successfully appealed a celebration decision to expel her from the competition, is livid about every thing that has happened.
“After all it changes the outcomes,” said Haddad, of Murray’s money problem.
She is taking a look at whether a few of her donations were also not properly forwarded by the party, however the ballot issue is a big concern to her.
Party spokeswoman Rosie Emery acknowledged there have been some issues with ballots.
“Where there may be a real issue, we’re reaching out to people,” she said.
But she said sometimes people thought they’d signed up but never got a confirmation email so their membership never went through. Other times individuals are finding the ballot email went to their junk folder by accident.
Haddad is equally livid that the day before voting began, the leadership committee ruled that members who had recently let their membership lapse could still vote, even in the event that they didn’t renew it before the Sept. 3 deadline to be eligible to vote.
Haddad, who’s recent to the Green movement, said it’s unfair that former members can renew their membership at any time and still get to vote but recent members had to hitch by Sept. 3 or they’ll’t.
Emery said the committee affirmed the voting rules for lapsed members after some candidates asked for a clarification.
Murray said the donation problem likely stems from multiple causes, including the party’s insistence that it control fundraising, meaning it collected the cash after which forwarded it on to the designated candidates after taking a 25 per cent cut.
He said some paper forms could have been incorrectly filled out but that the net system for donating was confusing and simple for people to not properly designate where they wanted their donation to go.
Murray said the size of the issue isn’t fully understood. He said they found almost $10,000 in missing donations at first, and one other $5,000 Wednesday.
The party hasn’t yet responded to a request for a proof in regards to the missing money, how much it thinks is involved, or what it intends to do about it.