More than 200,000 mail-in ballots were not counted by Elections Canada in the last federal election in September 2021. The Liberal Party of Canada won a minority government, capturing 5,556,629 votes, while the second-place Conservative Party collected 5,747,410.
There was a total of 205,000 uncounted votes that were determined to be late, cancelled or marked as lost in the mail.
Elections Canada's Report on the 44th General Election notes that the agency sent ballot kits to 1,274,447 electors who requested mail-in voting. Of those, only 1,068,543 (83.9%) were returned and counted.
As reported by Blacklock’s Reporter, this means that 205,904, a sizeable 16% of ballots, were not counted — more than the total number of votes that gave the Liberals an advantage.
The executive policy director for Elections Canada, Susan Torosian, is quoted as saying “We are deeply sorry for any elector who was unable to vote on election day.”
Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Michel Roussel points out that ballots being mailed out “five days, six days before the election date, that’s a tight deadline.”
The report further notes that building owners withdrew lease contracts with Elections Canada. The number of polling stations across Canada saw a 7% decrease as Elections Canada scrambled to secure more spaces, which “resulted in bottlenecks and lineups,” the report said.
The report further details that Elections Canada has received 9,410 complaints over its election conduct, with the majority being “related to accessibility, voter experience, long lines and interactions with poll workers and voting by special ballot.”