September 23, 2014 5:00 pm
Updated: September 23, 2014 8:00 pm

Vote tabulators not to blame for N.B. election results glitches: official

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WATCH: The Liberals won a majority government in New Brunswick Monday night, but the results were called into question after a problem with software used to tabulate votes electronically. Ross Lord reports.

Problems with tallying votes in the New Brunswick election that ultimately delayed the final results by hours had to do with malfunctioning software, but the counts are accurate according to an election official.

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Michael Quinn, the chief returning officer for Elections New Brunswick, said there was never a problem with the tabulation machines themselves — it was a program processing the initial results that had a glitch.

READ MORE: New Brunswick election coverage and results

He said there was a discrepancy found in results that were manually entered and those from the tabulations machines at about 10:15 p.m., so they decided to stop posting the results to their website.

About 30 minutes later, Elections New Brunswick suspended vote counting for almost two hours.

Officials moved to collect data from backup memory cards in the tabulation machines and replace the results that had previously been published with “something we knew was accurate.”

Quinn said by 1 a.m., all but two of the memory cards had been returned, and the remaining pair were en route from remote locations.

A short time later, Brian Gallant’s Liberals were declared the province’s new majority government, defeating incumbent David Alward and the Progressive Conservatives.

The Progressive Conservative party has said it will push for a hand count of every ballot cast, with People’s Alliance leader Kris Austin adding his voice in support of the move.

Quinn said there will be no internal review because Elections New Brunswick knows what went wrong and is confident its results are accurate.

“Right now, we are focused on verifying these numbers,” he said.

He added that Elections New Brunswick will continue to work with Dominion Voting Systems, the company responsible for the tabulators.

“This was unfortunately the result of one program malfunctioning,” Quinn said.

WATCH: Michael Quinn, the chief returning officer for Elections New Brunswick, outlined the issue that caused result glitches and said a further review is not necessary as all results are correct.

The results will be audited this week, and declared official as early as Friday. If there are any ridings where the margin of victory was 25 or fewer votes, officials will recount votes to confirm the totals.

Candidates can also apply to a judge to ask for a recount if they think there has been an error.

Quinn said any candidates with doubts about the results will get detailed information regarding the official vote counts.

With files from The Canadian Press and Shelley Steeves, Global News

© 2014 Shaw Media

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