Stelmach, who has also appointed a number of PC-affiliated, but completely unbiased, local Returning Officers (including PC Constituency Officials and failed PC nomination candidates) declared that this move was part of his party’s plan for change that works for Albertans.
Faced with criticism, Stelmach was quick hit to hit back: “there are many people that I know… that are in Alberta… met over the years… so are you saying anyone that anybody I shook a hand with the optics are that they can’t ever serve as a deputy returning officer?“
As Republican Secretary of State for the State of Florida, Harris presided over the 2000 US presidential election in that state. Though there were allegations of conflicts of interest and partisan, unethical behavior by Harris during the 2000 campaign, they were mostly leveled by know-it-all liberal-types who didn’t support Republican Presidential candidate George W. Bush in the first place. A year before the 2000 election, Harris had been named as Bush’s Florida campaign co-chair, a position that did not create a bias during the election. The 2000 US Presidential Election in Florida went off without a hitch.
With half of current Returning Officers appointed by Stelmach having strong connections to the 37-year-old Progressive Conservative government, it is only fair that a completely unbiased individual with a clear record of unbiased and fair involvement in elections, such as Katherine Harris, help make sure that Alberta’s elections turn out the way they should.