The City of Richmond said a delay in election results on the night of Oct. 20 was caused by a corrupted memory stick, used in one of the voting machines in City Hall.
While all the polling stations closed at 8 p.m. on Election Day, the results didn’t start rolling in until after 9 p.m., and it wasn’t until midnight when all the results were released.
“Each voting machine has a memory stick where the votes are recorded on,” said Ted Townsend, spokesperson for the City of Richmond.
"All the memory sticks were brought to City Hall once the polls had closed, and city staff started to run them using the vote counting process, beginning with votes cast in advance."
Townsend said when staff tried to count the votes for the Oct. 6 advance voting opportunity, a memory stick was not working.
"We tried all different ways but nothing worked. That caused an initial delay,” said Townsend.
Staff then moved on to counting other votes, with the one uncounted voting station left until the end.
“In the end, what we had to do is: we retained all the voting ballots, almost 2,000, and re-put them back into the voting machine so they could be re-calculated,” said Townsend.
“Feeding 2,000 ballots back through the machines is a time-consuming process. That’s why it went into midnight.”
Townsend said these voting machines have been used in municipal elections in B.C. for many years and there was never a problem in Richmond before.
“It just took us longer this time because of a technical issue, but all votes were counted. And we always have the paper ballots as a backup.”