By Alex Van Hamme - March 8, 2022.
Elections Canada has confirmed that 205,000 mail in ballots were not counted in the last federal election, a margin greater than the margin of victory between Liberal and Conservative candidates nation wide (190,790 votes).
"We are deeply sorry for any elector who was unable to vote on election day," said Elections Canada executive policy director Susan Torosian.
The Report On The 44th General Election shows ballot kits were sent to 1,274,447 electors who asked to vote by mail. Only 1,068,543 were returned and counted.
Other issues identified in the report included electors in 274 of 635 First Nation reserves having to drive to other towns to cast ballots, and Kenora, Ont. not having any polling stations in 3 First Nation communities.
Equally concerning is the fact that in the riding of Mississauga-Streetsville, 1,589 special ballots from electors were found in a commercial mail room outside the control of a returning officer. Since those ballots weren't received until after a Sept. 20 deadline, they weren't counted.
As of Dec. 14, Elections Canada has received 9,410 complaints regarding its conduct during the election relating to accessibility, voter experience, long lines, interactions with poll workers, and voting by special ballot.
The number of votes not counted in this past federal election is significantly larger than the usual number. The previous election had 5.7% of votes not counted, compared to 16.2% of ballots not counted in the most recent election - a jump of over 10%.
Some riding in the last election were hotly contested. Sault Ste. Marie saw a candidate win with a margin of 247 votes. The total number of special ballots not counted for in that riding are unknown currently.