Peachland election tied after jammed ballot counted

Peachland mayor Cindy Fortin.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/District of Peachland

PEACHLAND - A ballot that jammed in the voting machine was why Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin was initially told she had lost her seat to challenger Harry Gough in the municipal election on Saturday.

“That would be the one that caused the tie,” Gough told iNFOnews.ca today, Oct. 23.

When it jammed, the attending election official went to re-insert the ballot, but before that could be done, the ballot landed in the sealed box. This was reported to the chief election officer who noted the event.

A verification of the vote was conducted Monday, which gave Fortin one more vote and tied the election at 804.

“The chief election officer will be applying for a Judicial Recount of the Mayor’s ballot, pursuant to the Local Government Act Sections 146 and 148, to determine the results," states a news release from chief election officer Polly Palmer.

That review has to be completed within 13 days of the Oct. 20 election – so by Nov. 2.

If there is a tie, the winner’s name will be drawn from a hat.

“I will certainly follow the process that was laid out, if it’s deemed to be a tie, which it looks like it’s going to be,” Gough said. “But I would rather the people of Peachland determine the winner in a vote.”

The Local Government Act gives municipalities the option of a draw or an election. In May, Peachland council passed an Elections Bylaw that opted for the drawing of the name by lot.


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