Red Deer poll worker cleared of wrongdoing after social media controversy

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The City of Red Deer cleared one of its election workers of any wrongdoing after concern arose on social media they were influencing how a person voted.

On Monday, a poll worker commented below candidate Kraymer Barnstable’s Facebook post on the 2021 City of Red Deer Municipal Election Candidate Q & A page saying she was proud to help in the election process.

“I am working the election today and have had the privilege of helping many seniors cast their vote,” the poll worker wrote.

The poll worker added that while some of those seniors “may not be able to read very well” but when you say the “names that are standing for freedom they are very adamant to have that name marked off.”

“Our election team received numerous reports from residents concerned about potential influence on voters from an election worker,” said Michelle Baer, legal and legislative services manager, in a statement.

“We take these concerns seriously and immediately began an investigation into the matter.”

To ensure all eligible voters can cast their ballot, the city said election workers can assist visually impaired voters by reading out information on voting cards.

“In speaking with the election worker, we were able to confirm that in both of the two instances where elector assistance was provided, all appropriate procedures and policies were followed and most importantly, there was no attempt to influence the outcome of electors’ votes,” Baer added.

Municipal staff reviewed all available evidence and held an interview with the election worker in question. On Thursday, the investigation’s findings were released.

“Based on this, there is no evidence of wrongdoing,” Baer said.