Reports have come out about long lineups at a number of the polling stations around Vancouver. As well, a few of the polling stations, including Britannia, Oakridge and Killarney had temporarily run out of ballots.
We received reports of voters waiting for one and a half at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House at 4pm today. There were a shortage of advance polls in East Vancouver; this could have resulted in extra demands on Election Day.
Why were there delays? Why did polling stations run out of ballots? Vancouver had 142 polling stations on Election Day in 2011; in 2014 there were only 117. The City also transitioned to a system that allows voters to choose any polling station to cast their ballot at (in 2011 the polling stations were assigned to voters). Under the new system, it was impossible to predict the voter turnout per station. Under these conditions, would it have been prudent to print extra ballots so there are enough to go around?
In the run-up to the election, a tender document specified the production of approximately 250,000 ballots for 425,348 registered voters (page 83 & 88):
Were there registered voters who left the polls and did not wait to cast a ballot because of the long waits? Of course, another key question is whether anyone will ever be held accountable? Will Vancouver vote for change, or for more of the same?
Update: Four polls that had run out of ballots are reported to stay open past 8pm
Voting hours extended at four polling stations that ran out of ballots. Killarney 8:15, Britannia & Oakridge 8:30, Hastings elementary 8:45
— emily jackson (@theemilyjackson) November 16, 2014
More details on the election equipment tender are available in our previous post: Kits Beach Bike Path, Bloedel Roof and Voting Machine Tenders (November 2, 2013)