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

Upper Fraser Valley RCMP re-open community policing offices

CPOs have been closed for weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but re-opened Tuesday

PHOTOS: Sunbathers soak up the warm weather at Cultus Lake Park

Temperatures reached a high of 25 degrees celsius on Tuesday, marking the hottest day of July so far

RCMP ask for assistance to find missing Chilliwack man

Raymond Gene Jarvis has been missing since early July

Popkum fire chief urges caution after Saturday rescue from Bridal Veil Falls

11-year-old boy was stable, fire chief Walter Roos said, when delivered to a waiting ambulance

City of Chilliwack watching RCMP unionization process carefully

‘We know that this will impact our RCMP contract once an agreement is reached’ – Mayor Ken Popove

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

UPDATE: Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

19 times on 19th birthday: Langley teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Most Read