A Red Deer man says he was unjustly denied his right to vote on Monday while wearing an anti-Trudeau T-shirt.
Marven Hancock said he was accused of campaigning at the polling station at the Elks Lodge on Horn Street, near Taylor Drive.
“It doesn’t say — Don’t vote for Trudeau. This says — Piss on Trudeau. That’s not campaigning,” Hancock, 50, said.
“They said I could go home and change my shirt, or I could turn my shirt inside out. I said no, I’m not campaigning.”
Hancock said RCMP were called, who also told him that his shirt could not be visible inside the polling station. When he refused, he was told to leave or be arrested.
“This is not right. My constitutional rights were revoked because of a shirt,” he said about the well-worn garment he had made two years ago.
Hancock said it was the first time he hasn’t been able to vote, and said an Elections Canada official at the polling station told him that he would never be allowed to vote again.
Ghislain Desjardins, Elections Canada spokesperson, said he could not comment on the case, but to say that someone will never be allowed to vote again is false.
“Nobody in Canada can have his vote revoked,” Desjardins said.
But voters do have to follow the guidelines about what is acceptable at polling stations. Neutrality has to be observed, he said.
“Displaying partisanship, or having partisan activities, is strictly prohibited. It’s the central supervisor’s decision to ask that elector to come back. We do rely on our electoral workers to make sound judgment.”
He said it’s too soon to know how many complaints were made at polling stations, and the types of incidents that were recorded.