06/07/2013 04:00 EDT | Updated 08/06/2013 05:12 EDT

Voting Book Missing For Vancouver-Langara Riding: Elections BC


VICTORIA - Elections BC says the disappearance of an election ballot box means there could be a breach of personal information such as names and addresses of 141 people who voted in the May 14 election.

Chief electoral officer Keith Archer said Friday that Elections BC doesn't believe the disappearance was the result of election fraud but letters were sent to more than 300 addresses in the Vancouver-Langara riding represented by Liberal Moira Stilwell about a possible breach.

Stilwell was re-elected with more than 52 per cent of the vote.

The June 7 letter, addressed to "Dear Registered Voter," explains that a ballot box containing ballots and a voting book used to strike off the names of registered voters who cast ballots, to record new voters and to record changes about existing voters disappeared after the votes were officially counted.

"All of the votes were recorded into the Elections BC voting results system and are included in the final vote totals; however, the missing vote book may have resulted in a breach of your personal information," stated the letter.

The letter stated that a search of the voting place, the district electoral office and the route taken to get the ballot boxes to the district electoral office turned up empty. The letter stated the Vancouver Police Department and Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner were notified.

The letter stated that the depth of personal information about the voters in the missing book varies on their voter registration status. The book contains no information on non-registered voters who did not vote, but for registered voters who didn't vote, the book shows the name and address.

For registered voters who voted, the book includes name, address and signature. For voters who registered on voting day, the book includes the voters' name, address, signature, date of birth and may include a driver's licence number.

"My office has been working closely with the police, the district electoral officer and the Information and Privacy Commissioner and we have no evidence that the information contained in the voting book has been found by anyone, nor that it has been used in any way," stated the letter."

At a news conference Friday, Archer said the lost ballot box did not impact the outcome of the election result because the votes were already counted.

Besides names, addresses and signatures, the voting book included driver's licence numbers and birth dates for at least 10 people, he said.

"Our understanding was all the boxes were loaded into the car and transported to the district electoral office, unloaded, and at a point of reconciliation, it was determined that one of the boxes was missing," said Archer.

Stilwell's win was part of a larger, unexpected victory for the Liberal party that defied the pollsters and public opinion as the party secured 49 seats in the legislature.

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