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Media Advisory: District Electoral Officer Recounts in Courtenay-Comox and Vancouver-False Creek

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2017

VICTORIA – District electoral officer recounts will take place in the Courtenay-Comox and Vancouver-False Creek electoral districts as part of final count, which will take place May 22 to 24.

Under the Election Act, candidates or their official agents can request a recount of some or all of the ballots considered at initial count within three days after General Voting Day.

Recount requests are accepted if:

  • the difference between the top two candidates is close (defined in the Election Act as 100 votes or fewer); or
  • votes were not correctly accepted or ballots were not correctly rejected, or a ballot account does not accurately record the number of votes for a candidate.

The following recount requests were received by the deadline:

Electoral District Candidate who made the request Recount request accepted?
Coquitlam-Burke Mountain Jodie Wickens No
Courtenay-Comox Jim Benninger Yes
Maple Ridge-Mission Marc Dalton No
Richmond-Queensborough Aman Singh No
Vancouver-False Creek Morgane Oger No
Vancouver-False Creek Phillip James Ryan Yes

In Courtenay-Comox, the recount request was accepted because the difference between the top two candidates is nine votes.

Phillip James Ryan’s request for a recount in Vancouver-False Creek was accepted because an advance voting ballot account records 403 votes for one candidate, and the tally sheet and parcel envelope containing ballots for that candidate lists 399.

Recount requests were not accepted if they did not meet the requirements of the Election Act. In cases where the difference between the top two candidates is greater than 100 votes, recount requests must include factual basis that ballots were not correctly accepted or rejected, or that a ballot account does not accurately record the number of votes for a candidate.

Morgane Oger’s request for a recount was not accepted as it did not meet these requirements. Additional information related to the request was received by the deadline, but by the time that it was received Phillip James Ryan’s request had already been accepted.

In 2008 the Election Act was revised to establish clear criteria under which district electoral officer recount requests are accepted. Following the 2009 and 2013 general elections, district electoral officer recount requests were only made on the basis that 100 votes or fewer separated the top two candidates.

Applications for a judicial recount can be made up to six days after the conclusion of final count.

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Contact:
Andrew Watson
Communications Manager
Elections BC
Phone: 250-387-1709
Email: Andrew.Watson@elections.bc.ca
Website: elections.bc.ca

Elections BC is a non-partisan Office of the Legislature responsible for administering electoral processes in British Columbia in accordance with the Election Act, Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, Recall and Initiative Act and Referendum Act.

 

BACKGROUNDER
May 13, 2017

RECOUNTS

District electoral officer recounts

  • As part of final count, district electoral officers may recount some or all of the ballots that were considered at initial count.
  • Recount requests must be made in writing within three days after General Voting Day, and are reviewed by the district electoral officer.
  • Recount requests are accepted if the difference between the top two candidates is close (defined in the Election Act as 100 votes or fewer), or votes were not correctly accepted or ballots were not correctly rejected, or a ballot account does not accurately record the number of votes for a candidate.
  • District electoral officer recounts are expensive to conduct, and require considerable resources.

Requesting a district electoral officer recount

  • In order to accede to a request for a recount, a district electoral officer must be convinced that the criteria for a recount are met (as described above).
  • The Election Act was revised in 2008 to establish clear criteria under which district electoral officer recount requests are accepted.
  • These amendments followed the 2005 General Election in which nine district electoral officer recounts were requested. In most cases, there were no grounds provided to justify the request and the margins between the two leading candidates were significant. None of the recounts affected the outcome of the election in the districts in which they were conducted.
  • Following the 2009 and 2013 general elections, district electoral officer recount requests were only made on the basis that 100 votes or fewer separated the top two candidates.

Judicial recounts

  • A judicial recount is conducted by the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and may include some or all of the ballots and certification envelopes for an election.
  • A voter, candidate, candidate’s representative or district electoral officer may make an application for a judicial recount.
  • In the event of a tie vote, or if the difference between the top two candidates is less than 1/500 of the total ballots considered, the district electoral officer must make an application for a judicial recount. Applications for a judicial recount can also be made on the basis that votes were not correctly accepted or rejected, that unopened or resealed certification envelopes or secrecy envelopes contain ballots that should be considered, or that a ballot account does not accurately record the number of votes for a candidate.
  • An application for a judicial recount must be made within six days after the declaration of official results following the conclusion of final count.