Elections Alberta says a delay in results on election night was not caused by technical issues related to the tabulators, but rather the time it took to enter results manually.
The election administrator used tabulators to calculate the advance vote because, for the first time this year, voters were able to vote in any advance poll in any riding across the province as part of the vote anywhere initiative.
Elections Alberta said returning offices were responsible for reporting the results of the vote anywhere counts, which is a time consuming process.
“Every location provides results for all 349 candidates. Before these counts are reported, they are generated from the tabulators, transcribed onto Statement of Votes and then input into our results site,” an Elections Alberta spokesperson told True North.
“Every stage of this process is verified for accuracy.”
Elections Alberta also said results from other jurisdictions may be reported quicker when using tabulators due to the electronic submission of results.
“We did not use any electronic data transfer from the tabulators, as the tabulators used for advance voting were never connected to a network at any time. As a result it was a manual process to verify and enter these results.”
Elections Alberta will announce the official election results at 10 a.m. on Thursday, after conducting a thorough audit of all ridings. Those results will include recounts in Calgary-Acadia and Calgary-Glenmore which were decided by less than 100 votes.
UCP incumbent Tyler Shandro lost the former by seven votes in last month’s election, while UCP incumbent Whitney Issik lost the latter by 30 votes.
If either party is not satisfied with Elections Alberta’s ruling this week, it can proceed with a judicial recount in which it will argue the specifics of each ballot before a judge. That process would take another month.
UCP spokesperson Dave Prisco said the party will wait until the official results are posted by Elections Alberta before making any further decisions.
Both Shandro and Issik were leading in the polls late into the night on May 29, until the advance vote came in and flipped the ridings to the NDP.
Shandro was the Health minister during the Covid-19 pandemic, but was shuffled to the Justice minister before former premier Jason Kenney’s leadership review. He retained that file under Smith.
Issik was Kenney’s Environment and Parks Minister, but had no portfolio in Smith’s government.