(Epilogue: After considerable delay we received an e-mail from Minister Oakes, rejecting the request to intervene to prevent the destruction of the ballots. Several days later, we received a report from Vancouver’s Chief Election Officer that the ballots would be destroyed immediately.)
Many irregularities in the 2014 civic election have yet to be explained. Public scrutiny is critically important.
Legislation permits (but does NOT require) Vancouver’s Chief Election Officer to destroy the ballots after January 14, 2015.
On January 12, 2015, CityHallWatch wrote to the responsible minister (Minister Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development) asking that she prohibit the destruction of ballots until questions can be answered after an independent authority visually/manually inspects the ballots in question. CityHallWatch wrote to the City’s Chief Election Officer (Janice MacKenzie) today (January 14) with a request not to destroy the ballots. Further below is the text of both e-mails.
But first, see this table, a summary of data we have tabulated directly from the City of Vancouver website.
Careful analysis is required for the information below. To prove that the integrity of the 2014 election was protected, the Chief Election Officer has an obligation to provide convincing and independently verifiable explanations. Note especially the huge discrepancies in “times voted,” “blank votes,” “times under voted,” and more over the past four elections. Were there problems with the new optical readers of the ballot cards? Were there hardware or software problems with the entirely-new system? Were votes compiled incorrectly? Was the data tampered with? Were ballots tampered with? Public trust in the election depends on the answers to those questions.
TABLE: Comparison of official municipal election results in City of Vancouver spreadsheets – City Councillor race
|City Council Race||2005||2008||2011||2014||Terminology in 2014|
|Registered Voters||404,958||403,663||418,878||415,978||Registered Voters (CoV)|
|Times Counted||124,285||144,823||1,806,680||Times Counted|
|Times Blank Voted||3,366||3,396||4,411||119||Ballots Cast – Blank|
|Times Over Voted||86||134||159||5,930||Times Over Voted|
|Number of Under Votes||202,519||168,632||198,057||347,939||Number of Under Votes|
Source: City’s official spreadsheets for past elections. http://data.vancouver.ca/datacatalogue/municipalElectionResults.htm
(Sam Cooper, The Province, 13-Jan-2015)
(Mike Howell, Vancouver Courier, 14-Jan-2015)