An estimated 200 votes were cast at Surrey's advance polls before errors were noticed on the ballot.

Election 2014: Errors on Surrey ballot draw criticism

City of Surrey: Advance polls temporarily suspended In Surrey after affiliations of two candidates were left off the ballots.

  • Nov. 3, 2014 6:00 p.m.

A misprint on the Surrey civic election ballots caused a nearly hour-long shutdown of advanced polls Saturday.

And it just may result in legal action against the city.

“The team is seeking legal advice to see where to go,” said Mike Bose, a councillor hopeful and one of two One Surrey candidates whose electoral affiliations were not initially included on the ballots.

Maz Artang was also affected.

Bose said he and two others on the team discovered the error just after 9 a.m. Saturday, while voting in Cloverdale. The polls opened at 8 a.m.

While the mistake was discovered in the first two hours, Bose said voting wasn’t suspended until after noon.

An estimated 200 votes were cast in that time.

The polls remained open for an additional 55 minutes to make up for time lost while the ballots were reprinted.

The affected ballots were to be kept separate until the city’s chief election officer receives direction from the B.C. Ministry of Community Services, which oversees local election procedure. That word was expected Monday afternoon, after Peace Arch News’ press deadline.

Bose said he is concerned the ballots in question – including his own – won’t be counted. His understanding from Elections BC is that every voter gets just one chance to vote, “and if your vote is a spoiled ballot for some reason, you’re done.”

“If my ballot isn’t counted, it’s like having your democratic right taken from you,” he said.

“There’s no way of knowing what effect it has on the election.”

Other council candidates were quick to add their voices to the issue, in statements issued Saturday.

TeamSurrey candidates Brenda Locke and Stephen Gammer called for “significant and swift changes” to how the city conducts elections. The mistake “has denied candidates a level playing field, and has denied voters full and accurate ballot information.”

“The fairness of elections and the protection of voters’ rights are paramount, and the City of Surrey has failed voters miserably,” the statement reads.

Surrey First campaign manager Stewart Braddick expressed concern that the polls were “closed for almost an hour” and that he wants to make sure all votes cast are counted.

“Surrey’s Chief Electoral Officer should have contacted all candidates before closing the polls as campaigns were encouraging voters to come out and participate in the first day of advance polls,” he said.

“We also want to make sure that the paperwork was completed properly by those candidates who claimed their affiliation was not included in the ballot. We are also concerned election officials were not available at their published contact numbers, something that should have been possible throughout the election campaign, particularly on advance voting day.”

– Tracy Holmes & Kevin Diakiw

Just Posted

Surrey’s mayor-elect McCallum has big promises to keep

From estimated 337, 289 eligible voters in Surrey, 109,791 votes were cast for 32.5 per cent turnout

SURREY FIRST, burst: How the ruling slate earned just one council seat

Mayor Linda Hepner thinks another ‘entity’ will replace her slate

Early morning crash in Surrey on Sunday sends three to hospital

Traffic crash at 4 a.m. at 152nd and 88th Avenue. Police say intersection closed for “some time.”

THE VICTORY: Doug McCallum is Surrey’s mayor once again

Safe Surrey Coalition has huge night, taking all of city council but one seat

THE DEFEAT: Tom Gill concedes to Doug McCallum in Surrey mayoral race

Only one Surrey First candidate, Linda Annis, has been elected to city council

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Fraser Valley man dead after head on crash in Okanagan

Accident occurred at about 7:35 a.m.

Kennedy Stewart challenged with building bridges as mayor of Vancouver: expert

The former NDP MP, who ran as an Independent, will lead 10 councillors divided across four parties

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Vancouver drag queens receive royal treatment during Kootenay Pride

Vancouver drag queens discuss the importance of Pride and growing acceptance of LGBTQ community

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

Most Read