New Brunswick

Voter given used ballot at Fredericton polling station

When Fredericton's Stephanie Merrill went to her neighbourhood polling station this morning, she was in for a surprise. The ballot she was handed was already marked — by another voter.

Elections Canada says procedures are in place to prevent this, but sometimes mistakes are made

When Fredericton's Stephanie Merrill went to her neighbourhood polling station this morning, she was in for a surprise. The ballot she was handed was already marked — by another voter. 

Merrill tweeted about her experience. 

It appears she received a spoiled ballot.

Jane Bradbrook of Saint John also reported irregularities at the polls. 

Merrill declined to comment on her tweet, though she did say she asked for, and received, a fresh ballot.

Elections Canada spokesperson Francoise Enguehard would not comment on a specific case, but did say there is a protocol in place for spoiled ballots.

She says all spoiled ballots are to be put in a separate box and, at the end of the day, they are counted.

However, there is always room for error.

"It happens, you know? It happens," says Enguehard. 

"They are not machines, they are people and there are a lot of demands and [they are] under a lot of stress … and people make mistakes. It happens."

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