Recount confirms Liberal win in Hochelaga

The only local recount in the federal election confirms the Liberals won Hochelaga as the Bloc conceded defeat part way through the count. Hints of “irregularities” by Yves-François Blanchet have not been substantiated.

Having worked elections myself, I can tell you it’s virtually impossible to introduce “irregularities” into an election. Before the poll opens, two people have to count out how many ballots the station has, and write that down. Voters mark their ballot in private, but it goes into the box in front of the poll workers, and you could not get away with cramming two or three extras in there, presuming you somehow got hold of convincing fakes in the first place, which is vanishingly unlikely, and would be noticed during the count anyway.

At the end, the count is carried on in front of several witnesses (parties can send observers if they like, and they do) and the damaged ballots (if any), the used and the unused ballots have to add up to the same number you had at the beginning. (They’re not kidding. I once made an error over 1 ballot in an election and was called in more than a week later to go through the whole box and account for it. And it was not a close race.) And then you have the counterfoils as a backup if the count somehow looks wrong. All this stuff is kept and sealed down and initialed in the box after the poll closes. Nothing in the process is done by one person alone.

And this isn’t even to mention how we now have to identify ourselves at the polling station, a thing we didn’t used to have to do (and which is still being resisted in other democracies, I’ve noticed).

People like Blanchet, but casting unspecified doubts over the basic democratic mechanism of voting isn’t smart.