Now they appear to be taking a very noxious page from the Republican voter suppression handbook and attacking the voting rights of students.
The Guelph students say the poll was organized correctly, with a Conservative scrutineer on hand. But Hamilton's letter suggests there was no scrutineer and that campaign material was present at the polling station, which is prohibited.These kind of tactics and the underlying hostility to the voting rights of students has a long ignoble history in the US, from both the Republicans AND the Democrats (The Clintons did enormous damage to their credibility during the bitter primary battle with Barack Obama when they attacked the rights of college students in Iowa to vote where they went to school.) but it's been an overwhelmingly Republican tactic, particularly in older white communities with young racially diverse or majority black schools in their borders.
According to a published report, an attempt was actually made to end the vote as it was happening.
Citing several students who were there at the time, the Guelph Mercury reports that the communications director for the Guelph Conservative Party candidate turned up at the balloting site, claiming the process violated the Elections Canada Act. He reportedly tried to snatch the ballot box away, but left empty-handed.
How much of a backlash the Conservatives face from this thuggish attack on student voters will affect how much of this tactic we see in the future.
UPDATE: Elections Canada: The poll was valid and the votes WILL be counted.