Parti Québécois Bernard Drainville snaps a selfie with a group of students at CEGEP Lionel-Groulx. Bernard Drainville/Twitter
Quebec’s chief electoral officer is looking into whether Parti Québécois candidates, including Bernard Drainville, broke electoral laws.
Drainville posted photos of himself on Twitter that show him posing with students Tuesday from inside different CEGEPs as students were about to vote on campus.
In some pictures, from inside the University of Sherbrooke, he’s holding what appear to be PQ pamphlets while speaking to a young man seated at a table.
According to Article 352 of the Quebec Election Act:
No person may, on the premises of a polling station, use any sign to indicate his political affiliation or support for or opposition to a party or candidate, or engage in any other form of partisan publicity [...]
The building in which the polling station is located and any neighbouring place where the sign or partisan publicity may be seen or heard by the electors are considered to be the premises of the polling station.
A spokesperson for the chief electoral officer refused an interview request, but confirmed the office is looking into the matter.
It will have to determine where, exactly, Drainville was in relation to an actual polling station.
This is the first year CEGEP and university students have been allowed to vote on campus. They have four days to vote in one of nearly 175 special on-campus voting stations.
PQ Leader Pauline Marois defended Drainville's actions, saying he acted in good faith.
Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault, however, had a different opinion.
“The spirit of the law was not respected by Mr. Drainville," Legault said Wednesday.
Drainville, the minister responsible for democratic institutions and active citizenship, did not respond to interview requests early Wednesday morning.
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