Mayor John Dooley and granddaughter Harlow show how to use the new electronic ballot counter.

New elections technology headed to the polls

Nelson will be receive election results hours earlier on voting day thanks to new technology at the polls.

Nelson will be receive election results hours earlier on voting day thanks to new technology at the polls.

The city is following along behind Castlegar and Trail with the use of electronic ballot counting machine.

“For us it’s to be able to provide the results in a quicker more efficient manner to the public,” said Frances Long, manager of legislative and administrative services. “It’s a tough thing for the election workers to be working from 8 a.m. to approximately midnight counting those things.”

When the machines were used in the last municipal election in Castlegar and Trail the counts were done 15 to 20 minutes after the polls closed.

On election day, voters will receive one ballot at the poll instead of three. The single sheet of paper will contain all the offices – for council, mayor and school trustee – on one ballot.

Once the voter has filled out the ballot as stated on the sheet they will feed it into the machine which will count the votes.

“We’ve tested it a number of times and we’ve tested it to a manual count and it came out exactly right. It came out with nicer information than what we’ve provided before,” said Long.

In addition to the number of votes for each candidate, the machine also provides numbers on how many people under voted and how many people over voted.

“Another nice thing that will happen for us is during the day I know that in past elections election officials have been asked how many people have voted and they’d have to go to a sheet that’s sort of tracking how many ballots have gone to each table and give an approximate, now we can come up to the machine it tells us how many ballots have been read through the machine,” said Long.

In the event of a recount, Long said that in the past the electronic ballot counting machine has come up with the same results as a manual count.

“I know because somebody requested a judicial recount and the judge said no that they wouldn’t do a recount because of the accuracy of the machine. In another instance they did do a manual recount and they came out exactly the same on both, so that was great,” she said.

Long also said that the machine will save money because they won’t have to pay election officials who traditionally worked until midnight.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Work begins on new affordable housing building in Nelson

The 39-unit project is expected to be complete by July 2021

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

Morning Start: 180 different bird species exist in Kootenay National Park

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 29

Retiring staff feted by School District 8

Teachers, custodians and staff were honoured Thursday

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Most Read