Sooke civic voting complaints prompt audit

All 1,447 votes cast accounted for after audit, says chief electoral officer

Concerns swirling around procedures in place during Sooke’s recent byelection have been addressed by a line-by-line audit of the voting books, says chief elections officer Carolyn Mushata.

“I am pleased to report that all ballots cast (1,447) were issued to 1,447 individual voters indicating that no double voting occurred,” wrote Mushata in an Oct. 7 press release.

Concerns were originally raised when some Sooke residents pointed out that people’s names had not been struck from the voter rolls on the regular voting day, despite that they had already voted in the advance polls.

“I was told that there is more than one list and that when you sign by your name you’re saying that you haven’t already voted,” said Josh Burneau, after noticing his parent’s names were still on the voting list, despite the fact that they had already voted.

Melanie Burneau was also concerned with the situation and communicated her concerns to Mushata. She was told that every voter had to sign the rolls and make a “solemn declaration” that they had not voted already and that “the district relies upon … this declaration.”

“I’m in no way saying that there have been people voting more than once, but I am saying that the potential for this is present,” said Melanie Bureau.

The Burneau’s concerns had been exacerbated by the narrow margin enjoyed by Dana Lajeunesse who won out over his closet rival, Kevin Pearson, by only three votes.

The concerns might have been allayed had there been a commitment to an audit of the voter rolls when the concerns were initially raised, but Mushata would not commit to an audit at that time.

RELATED: Results announced

The concerns generated other complaints on social media from voters who said they had not been asked for any identification before receiving their ballot.

Mushata responded in an Oct. 3 press release, where she pointed out that there is no legislated requirement to show identification before being given a ballot.

RELATED: No recount planned

The whole episode had Pearson initially considering his options.

“My original concern was the closeness of the outcome and whether there would be a recount. I was told that it wouldn’t happen unless I asked for a judicial review. I wasn’t inclined to do that.”

And while the official audit of the voter books has addressed the Brurneau’s concerns, any of the parties wishing to challenge the validity of the election due to the procedural problems still have 30 days to do so after the declaration of the official election results.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Delays expected on Interurban Road due to wastewater treatment project in Saanich

Traffic down to a single alternating lane until Sunday evening

Sidney handles plastic bags with wait-and-see approach

Officials say they will wait for courts and provincial action concerning single-use plastic bags

West Shore RCMP bust seizes $50,000 worth of drugs

More than 300 grams of cocaine and crack-cocaine seized in Victoria

Downtown Victoria tea shop switches to plastic tea bags

Murchie’s Tea and Coffee says the transition is temporary

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

British family deported after ‘accidental’ U.S. border crossing

U.S. officials deny it was mistake, release video of vehicle crossing into Washington from Langley

LETTERS: Wolf kills, wilderness protection and caribou recovery

Readers respond to Tom Fletcher’s column on B.C. program

Kamloops man hangs on to back of stolen truck as suspect speeds away, crashes

The pickup truck was seen leaving the roadway before bursting into flames

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Most Read