Cyrus Reporter Justin Trudeau Campaign March 10, 2013 Christine Innes & Christian Monnin Co-Chairs, LPC Leadership Vote Rules Committee Liberal Party of Canada 81 Metcalfe St, Suite 600 Ottawa, ON K1P 6M8 Ms. Innes and Mr. Monnin: I am writing to formally communicate concerns that our campaign has with the voter registration process in support of the selection of our party’s new Leader - and to urge that immediate corrective action be taken. This race has offered the Liberal Party of Canada a much-needed opportunity to renew itself and connect with Canadians. With the addition of our new ‘supporter’ category, we have attracted an impressive 294,002 individuals to our ranks. These are Canadians from every corner of the country and every walk of life who have expressed a proactive interest in helping to take our country in a new and better direction. With that success, comes an obligation on our Party’s behalf to do everything possible to engage those individuals – to offer them an experience that is rewarding, inviting and meaningful. In effect, these new recruits are ‘kicking the tires’ of our Party. If the Party responds well, many will choose to become full-fledged members, donors and on-theground volunteers. It is therefore vital that we make their first experience with Liberal Party of Canada a satisfying experience. Unfortunately, unless action is taken, we will have an unacceptable number of supporters who will not be able to participate in the activity that they have signed up for; voting for our new Leader. This weekend, with only days left in the registration period, Liberalist shows that less than one-third of those eligible to vote have been registered. Supporters who for privacy, spam avoidance, or technical reasons, did not wish to provide an e-mail address when they signed up, were reassured that they would still be able to vote. However, Liberalist indicates that less than 5% of supporters without e-mail addresses are registered at this point. Attached as an appendix is additional detail we have compiled with respect to the current state of registrations. The story it tells is simple: We can do better. To be clear, our campaign has no question about the integrity of the process – or the legitimacy of the pending vote. Neither do we harbour particular anxieties about the impact on our own campaign’s result. Our concern is strictly focused on the possibility that a rare opportunity to welcome new participants into our party’s ranks might fall short. Certainly, it is the belief of our campaign that no stone should be left unturned in the pursuit of that opportunity – and in making it simpler for new recruits to take part in an historic moment of renewal for the Liberal Party. …/2

 

 

Consequently, we urge the immediate adoption of the following recommendations: • We recommend that all steps be taken to extend the registration period by one week. This will be particularly useful for the tens of thousands of supporters who will only be receiving their registration packages during March break. We recommend engaging additional resources (including external services) for high intensity phone bank services in the remaining registration period, so that every supporter with a phone number that has not registered is contacted in the limited time remaining in the registration period. We recommend that an ability to register by phone be developed. Similar to the Elections Canada option for individuals not registered by e-day, we recommend the development of an in-person simultaneous registration/voting option that would take advantage of an individual’s photo identification. As we learned in the all-candidates meeting with the vendor, they need to receive the registered voters list by March 21st. To facilitate a longer registration period, we recommend that LPC works with the vendor to begin sending the list of registered voters in tranches. For example, LPC could send the existing tranche of registered voters to the vendor, followed by another tranche on the 14th and a final tranche on the 21st. We understand that in any voter registration process, there are time constraints that need to be managed; however these tend to be a variable of the amount of human resources deployed to the task. If the vendor has an option of charging LPC a premium for a faster turnaround of the voters list than previously undertaken, we recommend that LPC exercise this option.

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Given the pressing timetable, we would appreciate your careful consideration and thorough response as soon as possible. We would be very pleased to discuss any proposed solutions with LPC. In addition, we would ask that you also please provide clarity with respect to the appeals process related to concerns by any campaign regarding the official voters list. In closing, we would simply emphasize again what a tremendous moment this is in our Party’s history and how vital it is that we seize the full promise that comes from our membership’s decision to create the supporter category. We hope that you will receive the concerns we raise in the respectful and positive manner in which they are intended. And we truly hope that you will agree to implement our recommended remedies in order to ensure a positive first experience for those who are newly engaged with the Liberal Party. Sincerely,

Cyrus Reporter Representative to the Liberal Party of Canada for Justin Trudeau
 

 

cc: Mike Crawley, LPC President Matthew Certosimo, National Membership Secretary Doug Kirkpatrick, LPC Leadership Vote Secretariat Ian McKay, LPC National Director Steve MacKinnon, LPC Leadership Vote Chief Electoral Officer Katie Telford, National Campaign Director, Justin Trudeau Campaign Gerald Butts, Principal Advisor, Justin Trudeau Campaign

 

 

APPENDIX Registration challenges for supporters who did not wish to provide e-mail addresses: Many individuals did not provide campaigns with e-mail addresses, for privacy reasons, because they wanted to avoid repeated e-mails from various campaigns or in a minority of cases because they did not feel comfortable with the technicalities of online registration and voting. The reasons aside, tens of thousands of Canadians signed up who did not want to provide an e-mail address. Some of the challenges that have since emerged include: • The first batch of mailings that went out had incorrect digits on them (they had additional zeroes) which prevented individuals from registering. It is our understanding that this issue was subsequently corrected, but no follow-up has occurred with those individuals who received this first registration package with incorrect digits. Many supporters have not received a registration package yet. It is our understanding that of the 294,002 figure, tens of thousands of supporters emerged over the course of the last week of the sign-up period. This is to be expected when many of these signups were the result of person-to-person canvassing which significantly improves the quality of the lists that were created, but also required volunteers to subsequently perform data entry. All Canadians were assured by the Party that if they signed up by the end of the supporter cut-off period, regardless of whether they provided their e-mail address or not, they would have the opportunity to register and vote. It is our understanding that the final mailing to individuals without e-mail addresses and have not registered, only went out on Thursday and Friday March 7th and 8th.

Based on Canada Post’s information, that would mean that most individuals close to Ottawa might receive their package by March 11th, those in Ontario might receive their package by March 12th and those outside Ontario by March 13th at earliest. This means, even in a best case scenario, tens of thousands of individuals will have only 3, 2, or 1 day(s) in which to register. For many this will simply not be enough time, particularly for those who live in rural and remote Canada and do not visit the post office on a daily basis. • For many Canadians, next week is also March Break, which means a lot of supporters will not be at home to receive their registration packages. We know of English speaking supporters in Quebec who have only received their registration packages in French. Further communication is needed with these supporters.

 

 

Registration challenges for supporters who provided e-mail addresses: The registration figures for individuals where e-mail addresses have been provided, while not as dire, are lower than should be seen as acceptable. Some of the feedback that we have received on this matter includes: • Through phone bank calls that we made to supporters on March 4-5th, we submitted 124 liberal.ca registration help form requests on supporters’ behalf. These individuals had valid e-mail addresses, but said they never received a registration e-mail from the party or required a mail package because, although they had an e-mail on file, they were not be able to access the registration e-mail. We have received numerous e-mails from individuals who have said they have ‘registered’ but have not received a confirmation. We have reviewed on Liberalist and approximately half of these individuals are registered and half unfortunately are not actually registered even though they thought that they were. We have received numerous e-mails from individuals in households who are sharing e-mail addresses, yet have multiple individuals that are signed up as supporters and do not know how to get each supporter registered. We have received numerous e-mails and social media messages from individuals who are reporting that on their browser they do not have a ‘submit’ button on their online registration form. The response from LPC seems to be that individuals should update their browser, with minimal additional information provided. Less tech-savvy supporters (often those with old browsers) are still not able to register. In one case a 71-year-old Victory Fund member from Vancouver was told to update or change his browser without any further instructions - he gave up in frustration. In another case, one individual from Nipissing received four e-mails recommending a different browser, but only the last included links for updating their browser and 3 of the 6 responses sent to her were identical.

 

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