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EDITORIAL: A slow vote

For most viewers, Monday night probably seemed to pass by in almost slow motion

It seems the real losers in the provincial election on Monday night were the people who had to get up early the next day. 

The May 29 election night was remarkably sluggish as candidates, supporters, and political enthusiasts around Alberta tuned into three-plus hours of anxious finger-nail biting and thumb-twiddling as results slowly trickled in from across the province.

For most viewers, the night probably seemed to pass by in almost slow motion. Even an hour after the polls closed at 8 p.m., the vast majority of Alberta's 87 ridings had only reported results from a few polls. 

Little had changed by hours two and three. Finally, as the clock ticked past 10:30 p.m., things started to speed up, and the overall results began to finally come into more focus. The UCP was declared the projected winner, Rachel Notley provided a concession speech, and Danielle Smith gave a victory address.

But even after most news networks had projected the UCP as the official winner of the election, the winning candidates in many too-close-to-call ridings (particularly in the battleground of Calgary) were not determined until the early hours of Tuesday morning. 

With a record number of votes being cast ahead of May 29 during the advanced voting days, journalists at the big news networks questioned aloud during their broadcasts what was causing such a delay in the votes being tallied.

Through official statements, Elections Alberta insisted there were no problems with the tabulators, (the automated machines used to count paper ballots used during the advanced voting days). CBC's live election coverage later reported the election authority conceded there were some technical issues involving the tabulators. 

Overall, May 29 will leave many people questioning the effectiveness of the vote-counting technology used in this year's election. While tabulators can help "ensure the integrity of the vote counts," as Elections Alberta stated, the lengthy wait for the results to come in left many election viewers frustrated and annoyed. 

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