Manitoba voters will see the results of this fall’s provincial election faster than ever before, thanks to a modernization initiative by Elections Manitoba.
“We are introducing new tools for this election, but the process is the same — voters still show ID and mark a paper ballot,” said chief electoral officer Shipra Verma on Wednesday.
“Each vote goes into a ballot box and is counted at the close of polls. What we’re changing is the tool, which is more technology to provide better service to our stakeholders.
“The integrity of the vote is preserved.”
The changes include the use of laptops with secure access to the voter list, scanners to speed up the process of finding names on the voters’ list, and on-demand printing of ballots in place of write-in ballots for advance voting.
Elections Manitoba will also use vote-counting machines to scan and accurately record ballots, which is expected to speed up the count as well as the reporting of results.
Verma said the machines will produce summary results once polls close on election day, while also tracking the number of ejected and declined ballots, as well as the total number of votes cast. Once those results are verified, they’ll be entered into Elections Manitoba’s secure system.
Around 85 per cent of voters on election day will have their ballots counted by machine — a number that increases to 95 per cent for advance voters — who will be able to vote anywhere in the province.
The election is scheduled for Oct. 3.