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‘Human Error’ Led To Election Night Emergency

By Adam Riley Nov 3, 2022 | 3:39 PM

Municipality of Shuniah Clerk Kerry Bellamy (left) and City of Thunder Bay Clerk Krista Power (left) pose following a media event at Thunder Bay City Hall November 3rd

The Clerk for the Municipality of Shuniah is chalking the omission of one name on the ballots in her community, for the English Separate School Board Trustee race, up to human error.

“It wasn’t noticed that there was a mistake on them,” she said at a media availability Thursday, “and it went through the process of being reviewed and got all the way through the election process to the voting day, so unfortunately nobody noticed that there was human error in reviewing the ballots. So all we could do was act on it once we knew about it.”

The missing name was noticed by a resident who reported it to the municipality, which made a Declaration of Emergency, that was later amplified by the City of Thunder Bay by making a Declaration of Emergency of their own. This led to the delay in results as all 18 polls located throughout the city had to be taken to City Hall and processed there one by one, instead of processing and uploading their data separately from polling locations.

Bellamy is assuring an incident like this will never happen again as steps have been taken to prevent a repeat.

“There is a whole new process now, and so we’ve put in some checks and balances and we are proceeding that way and we’ve actually already started using them with all of the reviewing of the documents that we have now with this second election.”

However when asked Bellamy was unable to elaborate as to what that process is.

So at a time where most clerks would be winding down from the election and prepping the new and returning councillors for the next term, Bellamy will be conducting another election specific for the English Separate School Board Trustee candidates. 642 voter information cards will be sent out to residents in Shuniah, which will have residents cast their ballot by phone, online or at a special polling station set up at the Municipal Office on Leslie Avenue in Thunder Bay. The election will begin on November 7th and end on November 21st.

The results from that race in the other communities in the area are being held in a sort of lockdown according to Thunder Bay City Clerk Krista Power.

“I’m holding secure our results, all the clerks in the municipalities are holding secure their results, they will all be submitted to me the morning after the conclusion of the Shuniah election.”

Results will be tabulated and could be made available as early as November 22nd.


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