Miscommunication delayed byelection result, says Elections P.E.I.
Led to embarrassing moment with candidate conceding before official results in
An almost two-hour delay in reporting the results of the Summerside-Wilmot District 21 byelection was caused by a misunderstanding of procedures, according to an Elections P.E.I. review.
Interviews with staff at the polling station revealed that a supervisor at one of two voting locations thought he was supposed to call in all the results at once, when he should have been reporting them as each poll count was completed.
"He thought that he was doing the right thing by being able to call in all the results at one time, but the reason we need them called in right away is exactly what happened," said Gary McLeod, P.E.I.'s chief electoral officer.
"The scrutineers have the results and they're releasing them to the party, and we have to have those results so we can release them as well."
The delay led to an embarrassing moment when PC candidate Brian Ramsay went to Liberal Chris Palmer's campaign office and conceded. Palmer was surprised by this because official results hadn't been released yet.
McLeod said the supervisor had been involved in provincial elections before, and had had three hours training before the byelection.
"I thought it was clear at the time, but people don't do this all the time. This is a one time event," said McLeod.
"Moving forward we're going to make sure that is very clear."
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | A look inside the gates of the former Strait Crossing fabrication yard
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Y's Men's not getting down over vandalism