Voters will see new technology at the polls, reduced lineups and faster results reporting in the next Manitoba provincial election, scheduled to occur on October 3, 2023.
“We are introducing new tools for this election, but the process is the same – voters still show ID and mark a paper ballot. 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,” said Shipra Verma, chief electoral officer, Elections Manitoba. “The integrity of the vote is preserved.”
These tools include:
- Laptops with secure access to the voters list
- Scanners to scan voter information cards and quickly find voters on the voters list
- Printers for printing ballots on demand in place of write-in ballots for advance voting
- Vote counting machines to scan and accurately record ballots and provide results at the close of polls.
During advance voting, voters can vote anywhere in the province. The use of vote-counting machines will make it easier and faster to count this growing proportion of the vote. On election day, voters can vote anywhere in their electoral division. Using technology during voting at either advance voting polls or election day polls streamlines paper-based systems and allows for speedier service.
The addition of vote-counting machines will also speed up the count and results reporting, especially for advance voting.
Once polls close on election day, vote-counting machines will produce summary results for election day polls showing the number of votes for each candidate, the number of rejected ballots, the number of declined ballots, and the total number of ballots cast. After being verified, the results will be entered into Elections Manitoba’s secure system.
Advance voting memory cards from the vote-counting machines will be retrieved from secure storage and results will be printed and entered into the election night reporting system.
It is expected that 85 per cent of election day voters and approximately 95 per cent of advance voters will cast ballots at a ballot box with a vote-counting machine.
As in previous elections, voting remains safe, secure, and secret, where each vote is anonymous.