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Manitoba Election Day Marred by Storms and Firewall Woes: Chaos Strikes at the Polls

Manitoba Election Day Marred by Storms and Firewall Woes: Chaos Strikes at the Polls

The Impact of Storms and Website Issues on Manitoba Election Day

On Tuesday’s provincial election in Manitoba, thunderstorms and website issues caused significant disruptions for polling officials. This election marked the introduction of new technology aimed at reducing lineups and expediting results. However, unforeseen challenges arose throughout the day.

The issues began in the morning when storms disrupted power at polling locations across many areas. To ensure voting could continue, manual ballot boxes were utilized until power was restored. Once the polls closed, the manually cast ballots and those counted by vote-counting machines had to be combined, causing additional delays.

The introduction of vote-counting machines, laptops with secure access to the voter list, scanners for voter information cards, and printers for on-demand ballot printing was intended to modernize the electoral process. Over 900 polling places were equipped with this technology and contingency plans, making the move ambitious in scope.

However, these advancements also led to extended vote count times. New reporting and reconciliation procedures, alongside the combination of manual and machine-cast ballots, contributed to the delay. Additionally, firewall problems on Elections Manitoba’s website caused interruptions to website access, further complicating the process.

Despite these challenges, Elections Manitoba highlighted several successes in the delivery of the election. The electronic voter list, bar code scanners, and on-demand ballot printing improved service and provided more opportunities for Manitobans to participate. While the results were not delivered as quickly as desired, Elections Manitoba assured Manitobans that the election was free and fair.

In terms of voter turnout, just over 472,000 Manitobans cast a ballot, representing a 54% turnout. Advanced polls saw a record-breaking 200,790 people voting.

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Nayan Kumar