City of Mississauga Experienced Major Delays Reporting Election Results

The major news on municipal election night may have been Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie securing a second term, Patrick Brown becoming the next mayor of Brampton, or the number of Toronto city councillors going down in defeat against fellow councillors.

But one development that may have been overshadowed by all this news was issues with Mississauga’s election services. Specifically, that it took hours, well past midnight, before the city could tabulate the final results of the election.

The City of Mississauga Twitter account sent out this tweet explaining the delays.

We experienced a delay in results due to long lineups at 8 pm. It was our priority to make sure those residents in line were able to vote,” the city’s tweet said.

Response to this tweet include one who commented that not enough election workers were hired, and Ward 11 candidate Pardeep Khunger outlined other reasons why he believed that there were such delays in the counting.

Normally, the delay in counting all the votes would not have been an issue, considering that Crombie and 10 other wards had results declared by media outlets earlier on. The only holdout was Ward 6, where incumbent Ron Starr was waging a tight contest with banking professional Joe Horneck.

As of 10:54 pm on election night, Starr had a slim 411 vote lead over Horneck, with 47 out of 63 polls reporting. Then for over two hours from that time, there were no results coming in.

With such a close result, anything could have happened. Horneck could have become the second municipal candidate to oust an incumbent in some 20 years of Mississauga election history, without any influence from Hazel McCallion. In 2010, the late Jim Tovey defeated an incumbent in Ward 1 by a margin of 124 votes.

As for the City of Mississauga’s explanation, it is rather peculiar because other cities extended their voting hours but only until 9 pm. Surely the tabulation would have worked by at least 10 pm and the votes should have all been counted by then.

Perhaps Khunger has a point: should Mississauga start looking at online voting seriously?

Cover photo courtesy of @idris.yyz

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