Peachland mayoral candidate Harry Gough appeared to have won the election Saturday by one vote but a recount has changed that to a tie with incumbent mayor Cindy Fortin. —Image: Facebook

B.C. town’s mayoral race a tie, come down to luck of the draw

Harry Gough led incumbent Cindy Fortin by one vote on election night Saturday

It may all come down to luck of the draw.

For one day it looked like Peachland mayoral candidate Harry Gough had ousted incumbent mayor Cindy Fortin from the head of the council table, but a count held on Monday offered a different picture.

It appears to be a tie, with both candidates getting 804 votes. Fortin picked up one crucial extra vote during a verification count that was held Monday, due to the closeness of the race.

With both candidates taking in an equal number of votes, the chief elections officer said she will call for a judicial recount for the mayor’s race. If it’s still a tie, there will be a draw, as per the district’s Election Procedures Bylaw No. 1536 which is governed by provincial law. The names of the two tied candidates to be be placed in a hat and the winner’s name drawn.

As for what caused the ballot to go missing, Chief Election Officer Polly Palmer put out a statement Monday night that said a “a voting machine mis-fed a ballot, which caused the voting machine to jam.”

The machine prompted the presiding election official to re-insert the ballot, but before the official could do so, the mis-fed ballot landed in the sealed ballot box.

“This was immediately reported to the chief elections officer, who made note of the issue,” Palmer said. “No other issues were experienced with the voting machines.

READ MORE: PEACHLAND ELECTION NIGHT

The preliminary results were announced on Saturday evening, and on Monday Palmer conducted a verification process in the presence of the two top mayoral candidates and/or their representatives.

Neither Fortin nor Gough replied to multiple calls or emails, but they have made their thoughts known on social media platforms, where community members are colourfully sharing their thoughts on the electoral process, the candidates and the state of their community in general.

“Folks, let’s let the process run its course. Appreciate all the support I received. Let the forces deal with it and move on,” said Gough, a former councillor and previous longtime owner of the IGA, on one Peachland-specific page.

Earlier in the week, Fortin said she was going to press on and ask for a recount, noting that it had been a difficult race.

Political engagement is something that Peachlanders excel at, with voter turnout repeatedly soaring far above the provincial average. This election, 2,348 residents cast a ballot, which is 52 per cent of the electorate.

The mayoral race in Peachland was also heated, with five candidates competing for the position.

Patrick Van Minsel, Pete Coolio, incumbent Coun. Terry Condon, incumbent Coun. Pam Cunningham, Keith Fielding and incumbent Coun. Mike Kent will form Peachland’s new council.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Route 26 reinstated from Skidegate to Alliford Bay

B.C. Ferries service will begin later in January

On the Wing: Christmas bird count reports, part 1

Haida Gwaii’s bird count report for Port Clements and Rose Spit

Queen Charlotte housing assessment jumps 31 per cent

Port Clements and Masset also see increases, according to B.C. Assessment

Pipeline at centre of B.C. conflict is creating jobs for First Nations: chief

All 20 elected band councils along the Coastal GasLink pipeline route have signed benefits agreements

Power saving measures in effect on Haida Gwaii

B.C. Hydro asks residents to conserve electricity to avoid outages during cold weather

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Most Read