An estimated 200 votes were cast at Surrey's advance polls before errors were noticed on the ballot.

An estimated 200 votes were cast at Surrey's advance polls before errors were noticed on the ballot.

Election 2014: Errors on Surrey ballot draw criticism

City of Surrey: Advance polls temporarily suspended In Surrey after affiliations of two candidates were left off the ballots.

  • Nov. 3, 2014 10:00 a.m.

A misprint on the Surrey civic election ballots caused a nearly hour-long shutdown of advanced polls Saturday.

And it just may result in legal action against the city.

“The team is seeking legal advice to see where to go,” said Mike Bose, a councillor hopeful and one of two One Surrey candidates whose electoral affiliations were not initially included on the ballots.

Maz Artang was also affected.

Bose said he and two others on the team discovered the error just after 9 a.m. Saturday, while voting in Cloverdale. The polls opened at 8 a.m.

While the mistake was discovered in the first two hours, Bose said voting wasn’t suspended until after noon.

An estimated 200 votes were cast in that time.

The polls remained open for an additional 55 minutes to make up for time lost while the ballots were reprinted.

The affected ballots were to be kept separate until the city’s chief election officer receives direction from the B.C. Ministry of Community Services, which oversees local election procedure. That word was expected Monday afternoon, after Peace Arch News’ press deadline.

Bose said he is concerned the ballots in question – including his own – won’t be counted. His understanding from Elections BC is that every voter gets just one chance to vote, “and if your vote is a spoiled ballot for some reason, you’re done.”

“If my ballot isn’t counted, it’s like having your democratic right taken from you,” he said.

“There’s no way of knowing what effect it has on the election.”

Other council candidates were quick to add their voices to the issue, in statements issued Saturday.

TeamSurrey candidates Brenda Locke and Stephen Gammer called for “significant and swift changes” to how the city conducts elections. The mistake “has denied candidates a level playing field, and has denied voters full and accurate ballot information.”

“The fairness of elections and the protection of voters’ rights are paramount, and the City of Surrey has failed voters miserably,” the statement reads.

Surrey First campaign manager Stewart Braddick expressed concern that the polls were “closed for almost an hour” and that he wants to make sure all votes cast are counted.

“Surrey’s Chief Electoral Officer should have contacted all candidates before closing the polls as campaigns were encouraging voters to come out and participate in the first day of advance polls,” he said.

“We also want to make sure that the paperwork was completed properly by those candidates who claimed their affiliation was not included in the ballot. We are also concerned election officials were not available at their published contact numbers, something that should have been possible throughout the election campaign, particularly on advance voting day.”

– Tracy Holmes & Kevin Diakiw

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

Just Posted

Welcome to your park sign marks the spot where 84th Avenue will continue east from King George Boulevard to 140th Street as part of a $13 million road project. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Road Rage: Opposition mounts anew to Surrey’s plan for 84 Ave. south of Bear Creek Park

Same place, same project, same fight as Surrey prepares once again to connect 84th Avenue between King George and 140th Street in Newton

The Surrey Board of Trade has launched a new ‘Say Yes to the Vaccine’ campaign. (File photo)
Surrey Board of Trade launches campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccination

Vaccinations are the only solution to re-opening the econony, says board

South Surrey senior Marnie Allard is this year’s honoree in the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey senior honoured in 2021 Alzheimer’s walk

Marnie Allard is living with posterior cortical atrophy

The volume of visitors to White Rock’s Marine Drive over the weekend has led council to consider special measures this week. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock council rejects resident-only parking for waterfront

Other health and safety measures to be considered in a special meeting Wednesday

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

Westbound Highway 1 traffic near Herrling Island is backed up a long way following a vehicle incident. (Photo/Trish Dunbar)
Pedestrian killed in crash near Agassiz

Woman in her 50s struck by moving van

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Most Read