New Brunswick

Elections NB to blame for delayed results, tabulator company says

The company that supplied the electronic tabulators for last week's provincial election is blaming the delayed results on Elections New Brunswick's use of software that was not "pre-approved."

Review by Dominion Voting Systems found elections agency used 'unauthorized' software

The company that supplied the electronic tabulators for last week's provincial election is blaming the delayed results on Elections New Brunswick's use of software that was not "pre-approved."

"In a subsequent post-election review of its equipment, systems and processes, Dominion Voting Systems has confirmed the irregularities that appeared on the media server were solely due to this inadequate file transfer software," the company said in a statement.

Dominion Voting Systems says an internal review found Elections New Brunswick used software that was not pre-approved during the Sept. 22 provincial election. (CBC)
Dominion has since modified its best practices to ensure that all software that transfers results out of Dominion’s tabulation server will now require Dominion’s approval, the statement said.

"The integrity of our processes and protocols is always our top priority," said president and CEO John Poulos.

Sept. 22 marked the first provincial election in which electronic tabulators were used at all polling stations.

Results steadily streamed in from across the province early in the evening, but later ground to a near-halt.

Dominion says its review found Elections New Brunswick successfully and securely delivered election results using Dominion’s products and software.

This was done via telephone from each polling station, followed by delivery of data from encrypted memory cards over a closed network to a secure server, it said.

This software was not provided, installed or used by Dominion Voting Systems – as has been previously reported.- Dominion Voting Systems

The integrity of the election results was never compromised, the Toronto-based company stressed.

But incomplete information was subsequently transferred to the media "because an external piece of software was used that did not have an appropriate validation process," the statement said.

"This file transfer software was installed in order to expedite the transfer of results from the closed network secure server to media outlets," it said.

"This software was not provided, installed or used by Dominion Voting Systems – as has been previously reported."

On Sept. 26, Elections New Brunswick officially confirmed the results of the Sept. 22 election, with Brian Gallant's Liberals forming the next government with 27 seats, compared to 21 for the Progressive Conservatives and one Green Party seat.

But there have been calls from candidates and political parties for manual recounts in specific ridings, while others have demanded that ballots in all 49 ridings be recounted.

The Progressive Conservatives expect to apply for judicial recounts in five ridings, each of which saw their candidates lose by fewer than 200 votes.

The Elections Act allows any candidate who loses by fewer than 25 votes to request a judicial recount and will not be required to justify a reason.

Candidates who lose by more than 25 votes can still request a judicial recount, but they will be required to file an affidavit and justify the recount.

People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin filed papers with the Court of Queen's Bench in Fredericton on Monday to ask for a judicial recount of the results in the Fredericton-Grand Lake riding.

Austin lost the riding by 26 votes, finishing behind Progressive Conservative Pam Lynch.

Candidates have until Tuesday to apply for a recount.

Elections New Brunswick has said it will not be conducting a review, and expects to use the same voting system from the same company in the next election.

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