Only after “mistakenly distributing four voting kits” did the city of St. John’s realize that voting by proxy is not an option under the Elections Act, for the method of voting used in St. John’s.

To vote by proxy simply means that another qualified voter in the same municipality is able to vote on your behalf, if you’re out of the city. The city has confessed that “incorrect information was provided to the public regarding by proxy for registered voters who are out of the City during the election period.”

The Municipal Elections Act clearly states in two places that, for mail-based voting, voting by proxy is not allowed, yet the act was misinterpreted by city staff, who communicated to the public that vote by proxy was permitted.

So far, 3 of the 4 votes have been inducted into the voting system. This means they will be counted towards the final outcome of the election, and in a city with such historically poor voter turnout out, every vote really does count. Literally. Granted it’s unlikely any candidate will lose by 3-4 votes.

The error is irreversible; a press release simply stated that “the City and Election Coordinator apologize for the error.”