SURREY – Voters looking to get their ballots in early this election hopefully did their research before arriving at polling stations Saturday (Nov. 1) morning, as two candidates were not listed under their party name. Maz Artang and Mike Bose of Barinder Rasode’s One Surrey team were instead listed with no disclaimers beside their names for the first two hours of advanced voting, making it appear that they are running as independents. "It’s very unfortunate and it’s causing a lot of voter confusion for people going into the ballot box looking for seven (One Surrey) candidates and only seeing five," said Rasode Saturday, who added they are now seeking legal advice.
"Our legal advisers are saying they’ve never heard of such an egregious ballot error before." Rasode said she was first alerted to the mistake when a supporter called up saying they had gone to vote for her team, only to find that there were just five names listed under "One Surrey."
A statement sent out on behalf of the city’s chief elections officer Jane Sullivan Saturday afternoon stated the error was noticed and new ballots were printed out immediately.
As the new ballots were being printed, advanced voting was suspended for 55 minutes and polling stations remained open 55 minutes later until 8:55 p.m. that evening.
Surrey First’s campaign manager Stewart Braddick also weighed in on the matter, saying that all candidates should have been notified of the suspension of voting prior to it happening.
"Campaigns were encouraging voters to come out and participate in the first day of advance polls," said Braddick in a statement. While Rasode had been told earlier in the day the erroneous ballots would still be counted, Sullivan said in her statement that ballots cast prior to the suspension would be held separately from the others until she receives further direction from Elections BC. It was unclear by press time how many ballots were affected.