I've always assumed that every ballot was checked and re-tallied. Not so, apparently.
Joanne at True Blue was aghast to discover that in the "recount" done in Vancouver South (Dosanjh vs Wei Young) the presiding judge decided not to open all the poll boxes:
Joanne notes that it seems "sampling is allowed." Quoting a Canadian Press report:
... Tory candidate Wai Young said she was disappointed because Associate Chief Justice Partrick [sic] Dohm, who was in charge of the recount, elected not to open all the ballot boxes .
If true, this sucks, big-time! It's not a 'recount', but a somewhat arbitrary 'estimate' that's possibly less accurate than the original count. With contests this close (22 votes) unless they check and recount all the ballots there's no way to know with a certainty that satisfies the losing candidate. Not much wonder Wai Young says she is "disappointed".
…The Canada Elections Act gives the judge presiding over a recount the option of recounting votes from some or all of the ballot boxes, along with spoiled and rejected ballots - 259 of them in the case of Vancouver South. The results of the recount are considered final …
There have already been suggestions of Elections Canada bias. This non-counting 'recount' can only further diminish voters' confidence in the process. Inevitably questions arise as to a judge's integrity, party affiliation, etc.
I'll be watching to see how the 'recount' goes in my riding tomorrow.
More at Climbing Out of the Dark, Crux of the Matter, Unambiguous and elsewhere.
Update (Oct 27): Blue Like You, sda, DAWG, Jack's Newswatch, Maclean's. Sda commenter Oz provides a relevant quote from a great champion of freedom:
"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." ~Joseph StalinUpperdate(27 Oct) EJDF Recount confirms Martin win:
And there's a little more here.
... Conservative challenger Troy DeSouza called off the recount after it became
apparent that the number of disputed ballots would not bridge the gap between
him and Martin.
... The Times Colonist won a precedent-setting decision to attend and report on the judicial recount. It's believed to be the first time a media organization has been allowed to witness the Elections Canada proceedings, which have previously been held in secret.
UpperUpperdate (Oct 28): The Times Colonist provides the anatomy of the EJDF Martin/DeSouza recount. I still don't understand why DeSouza terminated the recount. According to the story: "Around 5:20 PM, with all the votes counted...". So why not let the the hard work of the 100 or so volunteers "count" as the final result?
More at Blue Like You.