Voters enter the polling station at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre to cast their ballots in 2015. Whitehorse city officials are considering a bylaw to allow for the use of an electronic tabulator in October’s municipal election. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Whitehorse council to vote on using electronic ballot counter for fall election

‘The savings for us is in time’

An automatic vote counter tallies results two hours faster than a manual count — that’s the main reason the city is considering a bylaw to allow for the use of an electronic tabulator in October’s municipal election.

City clery Norma Felker told council during a recent standing committees meeting that the last time the city used an automatic machine was during the 2015 election.

The Municipal Act requires ministerial approval for the use of automated voting machines in an election.

In 2015 a technical glitch meant results weren’t immediately posted to the city’s website, but Felker said that had nothing to do with the tabulator itself.

“If that was the biggest problem we had, it was the best one we could have had,” she told council.

While staff haven’t yet figured out how to ensure that doesn’t happen again, Felker said the solution will be a top priority now that the issue has been identified.

Felker told the News the automated system is not only preferred for its speed, but also for the fact that it guards against rejected ballots by immediately signaling when a ballot is unreadable, or marked in more than one place. Polling station officers can then give voters the chance to re-do their ballots if desired.

Some of these are intentionally spoiled ballot. “That often happens with the mayor ballot because if they don’t like any of the candidates they just put it in and leave it blank, or they mark them all,” Felker said. But others are sometimes rejected due to votes being unclear because voters mark the wrong candidate and don’t erase the mark well enough.

If the bylaw goes ahead, Felker said the next step is to go to tender, hopefully in early March. The automatic tabulators are rentals, Felker said, and they typically cost $40,000.

“The savings for us is in time,” Felker said of the cost.

Council will make a decision Jan. 15.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Judo team competition returns to Carmacks

“The parents really love the format because they get to see their kids fight for more than one fight”

Food for Fines in need of more canned goods

Cash and canned donations accepted for parking fines until Dec. 12

Ending misogyny is far from over 29 years after Polytechnique massacre: lawyer

There have been 132 women and girls killed in Canada this year, said Pamela Cross

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Toonie Tournament returns to help the Whitehorse Food Bank

“I’ve got kids running up to see which team is bringing in the most money.”

Editorial: It’s time for tempers to chill over the ‘cool bus’

It is reasonable to expect there to be some rules around this service

Rob Dickson’s new record focuses on growth

“I felt the need to talk about things like privilege and about our experiences growing up and how stuff changes as we grow”

Commentary: What to look for in the next Yukon NDP leader

Hanson indeed an ideal role model for any who may follow

Spectrum Bears win Broomball Yukon’s Bob Park Opening Tournament

Three overtime periods required in 2-1 final game

Team Yukon starts cross-country season with Alberta Cup races

“It was great to test their fitness compared to other skiers in the rest of western Canada.”

Climb Yukon hosts fall bouldering competition

Competitors had three hours to tackle 25 problems

Most Read