Some Ontario voters report trouble with new machines at polling stations


    Voters at just a few polling stations in Toronto, Ottawa and London, Ont., reported issues with new machines getting used to test voter lists and tabulate votes on election day.

    The glitches have been inflicting lengthy lineups, slowing down the election course of, voters mentioned.

    There have been studies of digital vote tabulators not working, errors in digital databases, web connectivity outages, and workers who weren’t effectively versed within the new machines giving lengthy explanations on the way to use ballots.

    Voters in Toronto mentioned some digital vote tabulators weren’t accepting ballots at one polling station. At one other polling station, one voter mentioned some voters have been leaving in frustration earlier than casting ballots due to lengthy strains.

    One voter in Ottawa mentioned ballots have been stuffed right into a bag as a result of a machine wasn’t capable of tabulate votes. 

    Vote tabulating machines, equivalent to this one, are getting used at polling stations throughout Ontario. (CBC)

    Toronto voter Scott Weir mentioned lengthy strains fashioned shortly after a Toronto Centre polling station opened at Sprucecourt Public Faculty, close to Parliament Road and Gerrard Road East, due to glitches with an digital vote tabulator. 

    Weir mentioned no votes had been solid within the polling station as of 9:30 a.m., and there seemed to be no contingency plan. He mentioned he would come again later as a result of he needed to go to work.

    “Lengthy lengthy line … and no votes solid but,” Weir mentioned in a tweet.

    Issues ‘being addressed’

    In an e mail to CBC Information, an Elections Ontario spokesperson mentioned 99.57 per cent of all technology-enabled polls have been up and working throughout the province.

    “The few voting areas which are experiencing technical points are being addressed, in the event that they haven’t already been rectified.”

    The spokesperson mentioned within the occasion of an issue, ballot officers will revert to the standard paper technique to allow voters to solid ballots. That course of is identical course of in place at polls the place know-how is just not getting used for voting.

    The course of contains utilizing a paper record of electors and the ballot clerk manually hanging off the title of the voter who has voted and updating manually a paper copy to determine names crossed out. Elections Ontario mentioned all of its workers have been skilled on this contingency course of.

    An indication directs voters to a polling station in downtown Toronto. (David Donnelly/CBC)

    On this election, Elections Ontario is utilizing new know-how — e-Ballot books and digital vote tabulators — to test the names of voters and to report and to rely votes. 

    An e-Ballot e-book comprises an digital model of paper voters’ lists, whereas an digital vote tabulator electronically counts every poll and generates outcomes after polls shut.

    Expertise examined in byelections

    Cara Des Granges, spokesperson for Elections Ontario, mentioned in an interview earlier than Tuesday that the workplace had examined the know-how in byelections.

    “Elections Ontario has the utmost confidence within the accuracy of vote tabulators and has piloted them efficiently in byelections,” she mentioned in an e mail to CBC Toronto.

    “E-Ballot books make it simpler and sooner for an elector to get a poll. Vote tabulators automate the counting course of for election officers. which gives sooner and extra correct outcomes.”

    Elections Ontario will retain paper ballots for guide recounts if required, she added.

    Voters took to social media to report issues at polling stations.

    Within the Toronto driving of Seashores-East York, voter Liz Woodburn mentioned there have been two strains at the Toronto United Mennonite Church polling station, one for folks with voter data playing cards and one for folks with out, and workers mistakenly directed voters with playing cards into the opposite line. The outcome was a fair longer wait.

    “I confirmed up shortly earlier than 9:45 a.m. to extraordinarily lengthy lineups, which I’ve by no means skilled at that station earlier than. It is a common polling station. I’ve by no means had lengthy lineups there,” she mentioned.

    Woodburn waited an hour earlier than she was lastly capable of vote after being directed to the incorrect lineup. As soon as she bought to the entrance of the road, her card was scanned in a second and she or he acquired her poll shortly. She mentioned the digital vote tabulator appeared to working correctly. 

    ‘I contemplate this an irregularity’

    “I might say the workers weren’t constantly or successfully skilled. Folks have been being held up with lengthy explanations on the way to use the poll. The individuals who did not have a card weren’t getting processed. They have been standing there for ages and it appeared like whoever was imagined to deal with these issues did not know the way to do it.”

    Woodburn mentioned she noticed about six folks depart in frustration earlier than voting. She reported the issues to Elections Ontario, which it mentioned it could examine.

    “I contemplate this an irregularity,” she mentioned. “The factor I’m most involved about is I noticed leaving with out voting.” 

    Lengthy strains and other people leaving in frustration have been additionally reported at a polling station within the Toronto driving of Parkdale-Excessive Park. Some voters, together with Ottawa-Vanier voter Tatiana Paganezzi, are reporting pc trouble at polling stations. That is the primary Ontario election the place laptops with voter lists been deployed alongside with digital vote tabulators. 0:18

    In the meantime, in Ottawa, Tatiana Paganezzi, a resident of Ottawa–Vanier, mentioned she wasn’t on the voters record.

    “I wasn’t within the database, apparently, regardless that I’ve lived within the space for six or seven years, and I’ve voted right here earlier than,” Paganezzi mentioned.

    Pagnezzi mentioned she was informed computer systems have been down, and that she must fill out a paper kind to solid her poll.

    “It was fairly fast, although, there wasn’t lots of people.”

    Ottawa–Vanier voter Michael Porter tweeted the machines at Colonel By Secondary Faculty weren’t capable of tabulate votes, so officers have been as an alternative placing ballots into baggage. 

    And in London, voters of London North Centre have been lined up out the door at the Japanese Star Temple on Fanshawe Park Highway East. One mentioned the station was down to at least one useful pc early within the day. 

    The voting location was geared up with 5 pc terminals, leaving 4 unavailable to course of voters’ data.

    Native polling official Melissa Baidoobonso mentioned workers have been capable of treatment the scenario and transfer voters via.

    “It is our first time utilizing these pc methods, so after all there’s been a little bit of a hiccup,” she mentioned. “It’s a new know-how that we’re utilizing, however we have smoothed it out.” 

    Right here is the doorway to a polling station at Japanese Star Temple in London, Ont. (Travis Dolynny/CBC)

    In Tillsonburg, 50 kilometres southeast of London, some voters who confirmed up at the city’s solely polling station have been reportedly informed to “come again later” on account of pc issues.

    Sheena Larmer and her husband have been informed by clerks that there have been points with the computer systems. They determined to go for breakfast, and once they returned, the polling station was nonetheless having issues, main to a wait of round 25 minutes to solid their poll.

    “Oh, it was ridiculous. It was such a large number,” Larmer mentioned.

    “Though I am a very dedicated voter, I fear that there is lots of people that will simply say ‘oh, overlook this.'”



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