Troubles with voting machines during the 2011 civic election revealed through a Freedom of Information request are another reason to reform civic elections, says an unsuccessful mayoral candidate. Randy Helten of Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver received 226 pages about preventive maintenance and repairs of the City of Vancouver’s 160 AccuVote-OS machines. Records show the units were tested in late February and early March 2011, but a document titled AccuVote Call Sheet lists 37 malfunction incidents between Nov. 9 and 19. “The [Nov. 23] staff report from the chief election officer made absolutely no mention of any problem at all,” Helten said. “This is worthy of further discussion. This leads to the need for discussion about is it appropriate for employees of the city to be chief election officer?”
Helten said civic elections should be administered by an independent provincial body instead of the city clerk’s office. City council recommended in March 2010 that the province’s chief electoral officer be appointed to oversee civic elections.
Thirty-four of the issues happened on the Nov. 19 election day. Of those, 23 were during the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. voting hours. … The 2011 election was the sixth in which city hall used AccuVote, which was developed by Global Election Systems of Vancouver as a portable ballot scan vote tabulator. Machines read the deposited ballots, store the information and print cumulative totals.