Vancouver by-election: results expected early with new technology

UPDATE: BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon has won the Vancouver-Quilchena by-election.

For the first time, the independent office that administers elections in British Columbia will use new technology for the Vancouver-Quilchena by-election, meaning results could be available minutes after polls close.

Andrew Watson, director of communications for Elections BC, told CTV News that after a voter marks their ballot, that ballot will be fed through an electronic tabulator and then go into a ballot box.

“The benefit of this is that we are able to report the results much faster on election night and have a consistent tally across all polling stations for the election,” Watson said.

In the last provincial elections, the results started coming in about 45 minutes after the polls closed, he added. This is because officials opened each ballot box and then counted each ballot. With the electronic tabulator, each vote is essentially counted as it comes in. Then, when it’s time to release the results, it’s a matter of calling the numbers.

Watson also explained that there was no way to determine the results before voting officially closed.

“At that time, polling station officials will produce what is called a results tape which will show the tally of all candidates for that polling station. And that information is called to the district election office and then posted on the Elections BC website.

The results will be preliminary. This is always the case on election night. In the past, mail-in ballots still had to be counted and were part of the final results. Watson said one of the added benefits of the new technology is that preliminary ballots will be more comprehensive because mail-in and mail-in ballots will be included in the preliminary count.

The Vancouver-Quilchena seat was vacated when former Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson resigned after failing to return the party to power in the last provincial election.

The candidates are:

  • Jeanette Ashe, BC NDP
  • Dallas Brodie, Curator
  • Kevin Falcon, BC Liberal Party
  • Sandra Philosopher-Schipper, Libertarian
  • Wendy Hayko, Green Party of British Columbia

After several days of advance voting, voters can vote at polling stations until 8 p.m. Saturday.

All paper ballots will be counted as part of the May 4 final tally.

Leave a Comment