Summary of the Notice of Violation

Name of individual, corporation or entity Ayesha Chughtai
Date of violation September 13, 2021
Section of the Act 281.4
Baseline amount $1,000
Aggravating factor +2
Mitigating factor N/A
AMP total amount $1,500
Issued by Commissioner of Canada Elections

Key facts of violation

During the 2021 federal general election, Ayesha Chughtai attempted to vote at the Returning Officer’s office on September 2, 2021, in Calgary Skyview, an electoral district in which returning office staff knew she did not ordinarily reside. Ayesha Chughtai was informed by returning office staff that she was not permitted to vote in an electoral district in which she did not ordinarily reside, and that contrary to her contention, there was no rule in the Canada Elections Act (the Act) allowing an elector to vote in their former electoral district within six months of having adopted a new place of ordinary residence. Despite having been informed of the prohibition against voting in Calgary Skyview, election documents and other information obtained during an investigation by the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections (OCCE) establish that Ayesha Chughtai voted at an advanced poll in that electoral district on September 13, 2021. Information obtained also confirms that Ayesha Chughtai did not have her place of ordinary residence in Calgary Skyview during the 2021 general election.

There are therefore reasonable grounds to believe that Ayesha Chughtai voted in an electoral district while not ordinarily residing in that electoral district, which is prohibited by paragraph 281.4(a) of the Act.

Two aggravating factors were added to the AMP’s baseline amount. The first one relates to the degree of intention or negligence. When Ayesha Chughtai attempted to vote at the Returning Officer’s office in the electoral district of Calgary Skyview on September 2, 2021, she was informed that this was prohibited and that she should vote in the electoral district that corresponds with her place of ordinary residence. According to witness statements provided to the OCCE investigator, she indicated to returning office staff that she would nevertheless vote at an advanced poll, which she proceeded to do on September 13, 2021.

The second aggravating factor was added as, according to witness statements provided to the OCCE investigator, Ayesha Chughtai indicated to returning office staff that she intended to vote in the electoral district of Calgary Skyview in order to support the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) candidate running in that electoral district. Information on file shows that Ayesha Chughtai was working for the LPC during the 44th general election—including as a volunteer for the LPC candidate for whom she indicated she wished to vote—and that she was then also an employee of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The failure of those involved in the political process to comply with the rules adopted by Parliament to ensure a fair election can contribute to a loss of public confidence in the integrity of members of the political class, which may, as a result, increase voter apathy.

The final AMP amount, upon the Chief Electoral Officer’s review, was confirmed at $1,500.

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