PEI

Elections P.E.I. discovers error in referendum vote count

Elections P.E.I. has uncovered a clerical error while reviewing the vote count for the referendum on electoral reform.

Mistake affects district count, but does not change overall results

Elections P.E.I. discovered a clerical error, which changed the referendum results in one district. (Al MacCormick/CBC)

Elections P.E.I. has uncovered a clerical error while reviewing the vote count for the referendum on electoral reform.

The corrected results add one more district to the No side, but do not change the overall outcome. 

In order to change the voting system on P.E.I., the referendum would have had to meet two thresholds — more than 50 per cent of the overall popular vote, as well as winning in at least 17 of the Island's 27 districts. It failed on both those counts, with Islanders voting to keep the existing first-past-the-post voting system. 

The corrected results bring the Yes side's district wins down to 14, and mean a slight change in the overall popular vote. 

"It was in District 20, where the Yes side had won, it actually changed the result there. The No side had actually won," said Chief Electoral Officer Tim Garrity.

"It really didn't change the outcome overall. The No side, it increased to 52 per cent of the popular vote is what it received, versus 48 per cent for the Yes side. But it just did change over that district."

Clerical error

Garrity said Elections P.E.I. was reviewing the referendum numbers this week, in order to provide the referendum commissioner with all of the data from the election, when staff noticed the error.

"It was a clerical error, meaning somebody just typed in a wrong number when they were putting it in," Garrity said.

P.E.I.'s Chief Electoral Officer Tim Garrity says he was glad the error didn't have a major impact overall. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

He said he was glad the error didn't have a major impact overall. 

"We're all human, we all make mistakes, and we just wanted to be sure that we were clear what the error was, and we wanted to make sure that we got the correct information out."

Garrity said Elections P.E.I. had already reviewed the elections results for MLAs, prior to declaration day. 

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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