Procrastinating voters blamed for late St. John's results

Election Co-ordinator Maureen Harvey blames last-minute voters for the delay in getting municipal election results on Tuesday night.
Maureen Harvey, the city's election co-ordinator, said there were late lineups at polling stations in Wards 2 and 4 that held up results on Tuesday night. (CBC)

St. John's election co-ordinator blames last-minute voters for a two-hour delay in getting municipal election results on Tuesday night.

Maureen Harvey said there were late lineups at polling stations in Wards 2 and 4 that held everything up.

City staff had expected to have some results about 30 minutes after the polls closed at 8 p.m. But no results were available until close to 10:30 p.m.

Harvey said the city wasn't prepared for the number of people who preferred to vote in person on election day, instead of mailing in their ballots.

She admitted that staff were caught off guard.

"The numbers throughout the day didn't indicate we were going to get that kind of influx, so there was no reason to be prepared for anything out of the ordinary," Harvey said.

But Harvey said she would take voter procrastination over apathy any day.

"It was a little disappointing that the result was later, but I think we have to capitalize on the fact that we had certainly an improved voter turnout  — probably one of the better ones in the region," she said.

Harvey said staff will use this experience to aid with planning for the next municipal election in 2017.

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