Sooke civic voting complaints prompt audit

All 1,447 votes cast accounted for after audit, says chief electoral officer

Concerns swirling around procedures in place during Sooke’s recent byelection have been addressed by a line-by-line audit of the voting books, says chief elections officer Carolyn Mushata.

“I am pleased to report that all ballots cast (1,447) were issued to 1,447 individual voters indicating that no double voting occurred,” wrote Mushata in an Oct. 7 press release.

Concerns were originally raised when some Sooke residents pointed out that people’s names had not been struck from the voter rolls on the regular voting day, despite that they had already voted in the advance polls.

“I was told that there is more than one list and that when you sign by your name you’re saying that you haven’t already voted,” said Josh Burneau, after noticing his parent’s names were still on the voting list, despite the fact that they had already voted.

Melanie Burneau was also concerned with the situation and communicated her concerns to Mushata. She was told that every voter had to sign the rolls and make a “solemn declaration” that they had not voted already and that “the district relies upon … this declaration.”

“I’m in no way saying that there have been people voting more than once, but I am saying that the potential for this is present,” said Melanie Bureau.

The Burneau’s concerns had been exacerbated by the narrow margin enjoyed by Dana Lajeunesse who won out over his closet rival, Kevin Pearson, by only three votes.

The concerns might have been allayed had there been a commitment to an audit of the voter rolls when the concerns were initially raised, but Mushata would not commit to an audit at that time.

RELATED: Results announced

The concerns generated other complaints on social media from voters who said they had not been asked for any identification before receiving their ballot.

Mushata responded in an Oct. 3 press release, where she pointed out that there is no legislated requirement to show identification before being given a ballot.

RELATED: No recount planned

The whole episode had Pearson initially considering his options.

“My original concern was the closeness of the outcome and whether there would be a recount. I was told that it wouldn’t happen unless I asked for a judicial review. I wasn’t inclined to do that.”

And while the official audit of the voter books has addressed the Brurneau’s concerns, any of the parties wishing to challenge the validity of the election due to the procedural problems still have 30 days to do so after the declaration of the official election results.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

VIDEO: North Island man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

More people are being evicted from subsidized housing in Victoria, experts say

Closing of Pacifica Housing’s Fairfield Hotel a sign of ongoing trends

Victoria Police Department requests $2.5 million increase for 2020 budget

VicPD answers council questions about requested cost expenditures

Holiday Country Grocer campaign returns to make children’s dreams come true

Proceeds from campaign go towards Help Fill A Dream foundation

VIDEO: Six months later, downtown Victoria business still feels the burn of Pandora fire

Sattva Spa stripped to the bare bones and won’t be operational for another year

Ski resorts selling mountain water is a risky move, critics say

Alberta allowed ski resort in Kananaskis Country to sell about 50 million litres to third party

Sportsnet looks at new options for Coach’s Corner time slot, post-Don Cherry

Spokesperson says Hall of Fame feature on tap this weekend after co-host’s firing

Grand Forks residents protest on bridge to call for ‘fair’ compensation after 2018 floods

Demonstrators also criticized how long it has taken to be offered land deals

B.C. taxi drivers no longer exempt from wearing a seatbelt

Before, taxi drivers were allowed to forego a seatbelt when driving under 70 kilometres an hour

Car dash covered in papers not an excuse for speeding, Delta police warn

After pulling driver over for speeding, police found his speedometer blocked by a stack of papers

B.C. woman seeks return of jewelry box containing father’s cremated remains

Sicamous RCMP report handmade box was stolen from a storage locker

Vancouver police officer charged with sexual assault in apparent off-duty incident

Jagraj Roger Berar, 51, of Surrey, charged in incident alleged to have happened in Whistler

Sooke hosts forum to get input from people with disabilities

The province has multiple avenues for input

Most Read