Voting Glitch Could Impact McKellar and Red River Wards

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500 Donald Street East - Thunder Bay City Hall
500 Donald Street East - Thunder Bay City Hall

THUNDER BAY – A problem in the advance polls has drawn concern from the city official responsible for conducting the 2022 Civic Election.

“Following the close of the first advance poll at West Thunder Community Centre and as of 8 AM this morning more than 3000 voters (3.73 % of voters) in Thunder Bay have cast their ballot and, with the exception of one confined anomaly, the voting process has been efficient and well received by voters,” states City Clerk Krista Power.

The city says that Internet voting has been steady since the opening of polls, 64% of the vote cast used the online platform.

The Returning Officer and her team identified a procedural irregularity in the first hours of voting; 27 Voters in McKellar Ward (poll 301) received a mislabelled internet ballot intended for those who live in Red River Ward (poll 201).

Swift corrective action was taken to remediate the irregularity and confirm all other internet ballots were assigned to the correct ward. The availability of internet voting was briefly interrupted in the afternoon of October 5th to address the issue.

“It is unfortunate that this irregularity occurred, and I understand that some may be frustrated or upset by this situation,” said Krista Power, Returning Officer. “I want to stress that the internet voting platform remains secure and encourage voters to continue to participate in the election either in person or via the internet voting option.”

KPowers says that, “It has been confirmed that there was no breach of security within the internet voting platform.

In a media release 500 Donald Street East says, “It has also been confirmed that there were no irregularities in any other race, all internet ballots were and continue to be appropriately distributed to verified voters. Should either the McKellar or Red River Ward races be decided by a margin of 27 votes or less, appropriate steps will be taken as per the Municipal Elections Act to determine the necessity for a by-election within these wards only”.

“The Principles of the Municipal Elections Act are clear; action was required to secure the integrity of Thunder Bay’s Municipal Election by isolating and addressing the mislabeled ballots received by a small number of voters (0.2%) in McKellar Ward. My office is committed to transparency, as well as the integrity of the electoral process,” added Power.