POLITICS

Rob Ford Asked To Leave Ward 17 Advance Voting Station

10/19/2014 04:33 EDT | Updated 12/19/2014 05:59 EST
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves city hall for the day after councillors passed motions to limit his powers on Monday November 18, 2013 THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was asked to leave an advance voting location on Saturday, city staff has confirmed.​

Ford had arrived at the J.J. Piccininni Community Centre in Ward 17 Davenport with a senior citizen, whom he had reportedly driven to cast a ballot during the advance voting period.

Another voter snapped a photograph of Ford standing near the voting stations, and uploaded the image to Instagram with the message “I cast my vote early and look who was in my way.”

A municipal election official then asked Ford to leave the building, at which time he went upstairs and posed for photos with members of the public. The same official then approached Ford a second time and asked him to leave, said Jackie DeSouza, a spokeswoman for the city.

After a short time, Ford met with the senior he had taken to the voting place and left.

According to the Municipal Elections Act, candidates are allowed to be in polling stations on voting days, but cannot be campaigning, influencing voters or distributing any campaign-related materials. Ford’s mingling with potential voters within the building could be construed as violating those rules.

DeSouza confirmed that the city clerk has sent a formal letter clarifying election rules to the mayor’s office.

Ford spotted at Ward 8 advance poll

Ford came under scrutiny last week when he showed up at the Driftwood Community Centre in Ward 8 York West and spoke to voters. The city has since said Ford will not be charged for the incident.

The mayor is currently a city council candidate in Ward 2 Etobicoke North after dropping out of the mayoral race following a cancer diagnosis. He is undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy, but has been visible during the campaign, turning up at mayoral debates and encouraging the public to vote for his brother Doug.

The advance voting period ends Sunday at 7 p.m., with election day on Oct. 27. This year’s election has seen a record number of advance ballots cast — 124,798 as of Saturday evening.  During the last mayoral election in 2010, about 77,000 advance ballots were cast in total.

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