CEO Wendy Higashi said the mistake was the first miscount after a Greenwood election. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

CEO Wendy Higashi said the mistake was the first miscount after a Greenwood election. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Province given wrong vote count after Greenwood byelection

Miscount first in city’s history, according to Chief Election Officer

Greenwood’s Chief Elections Officer (CEO) has taken responsibility for an error in the vote count following the city’s byelection Saturday, Oct. 10. The error will not affect the results of the election.

CEO Wendy Higashi said the results she filed to Elections BC and the Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs, which share jurisdiction over city elections, gave 10 extra votes to mayoral candidate Gerry Shaw, who lost to candidate Barry Noll.

READ MORE: Noll, Seymour win Greenwood byelection

Chief Election Officer Wendy Higashi took responsibility for a counting error initially filed with provincial authorities after Greenwood’s byelection Sat. Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Chief Election Officer Wendy Higashi took responsibility for a counting error initially filed with provincial authorities after Greenwood’s byelection Sat. Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Initial results showed that Shaw had 163 votes to mayor-elect Noll’s 182. In fact, Shaw received 153 votes.

Higashi said she submitted the correct results shortly after the Thanksgiving weekend.

“It’s my job to make sure everything is correct,” Higashi explained at Mayor Noll and Councillor Mark Seymour’s swearing-in ceremony Wednesday evening, Oct. 21.

READ MORE: Noll, Seymour sworn-in at Greenwood’s McCarthur Centre

All four official vote counters, sitting at the same table and in the presence of scrutineers, made the same counting error at the last tally of ballots, Higashi explained. Higashi said she didn’t know how each vote counter independently arrived at the wrong tally.

Byelection results reported Saturday, Oct. 10 showed candidate Gerry Shaw had 10 extra votes than the 153 he received. Graphic courtesy of Wendy Higashi

Byelection results reported Saturday, Oct. 10 showed candidate Gerry Shaw had 10 extra votes than the 153 he received. Graphic courtesy of Wendy Higashi

“It’s a very stressful process,” she said.

Higashi said no one told her there was a discrepancy during the official vote count at the McCarthur Centre. Instead, Higashi said she spotted the mistake when, looking at an initial summary, she compared the number of tallied votes to the number of accepted ballots. This is the first miscount after a Greenwood municipal election, she said.

Ballots are read out by the CEO and counted by official vote-counters. Running tallies are scrutinized by campaign volunteers, according to Higashi. No one told her they’d noticed a discrepancy on the night of the election, she said.

Higashi said clearer communication between vote-counters and scrutineers would probably avoid miscounts in future elections.

Asked for comment, Mayor Noll said, the mistake “is water under the bridge now.”

“I like to keep my focus on the windshield rather than the rear-view mirror,” he said.

Council unanimously voted to accept the final results of the byelection after Wednesday’s ceremony.


@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

byelectionGreenwoodMunicipal electionMunicipal Government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sgt. Darryl Peppler said Mounties are continuing their investigation after Tuesday’s raid. File photo
Grand Forks RCMP arrest suspected drug traffickers at city motel

Police say they netted “a sizable amount” of money and suspected drugs following Tuesday’s arrests.

Midway RCMP’s Cpl. Phil Peters spoke at Greenwood’s city council meeting Monday, Nov. 23. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Police investigating burglary ‘ring’ with ties to Greenwood and Okanagan

Midway RCMP are looking at “persons of interest” in two Greenwood heists

The 29-year-old man pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving at Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Nov. 17. File photo
Grand Forks man gets 3-months curfew for role in Highway 3 chase

Guilty man thanked Judge Robert Brown, said he is committed to recovering from addiction

Two men got into a fight over a Grand Forks’ flower display last summer. One of the men resolved an assault charge by entering into a peace bond at Provincial Court Tuesday, Nov. 17. File photo
Grand Forks man takes peace bond after flower fisticuffs

Harsh words over a downtown flower display led to violent confrontation, said Crown attorney

A man wears a mask while walking down Canyon Street in Creston on Nov. 13. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Creston resident living with COVID-19 reflects on experience

Contracting and living with the virus, she said, has led to a “major reset” in her life

One of seven kitties rescued from a property east of Grand Forks Friday, Nov. 27. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks women rescue sick kitties from rural property

Kimberly Feeny and Lisa Valenta spent their Friday nursing seven cats rescued east of the city

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

2020
Urban wildlife Part VI: The East Kootenay birds of autumn

The work of local photographers printed in the pages of the East Kootenay Advertiser throughout 2020. Part VI.

Most Read