Wendy Bales outside the Chilliwack Law Courts Friday where she was declared the winner of the FVRD Electoral Area C director election after a tie vote, broken by a judge drawing lots. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Wendy Bales elected FVRD Area C director in a 50/50 draw

After judicial recount in Chilliwack courtroom, judge drew lots choosing Bales over Annie Silver

The names of the two lead candidates for Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) director of Electoral Area C were printed on two sheets of paper Friday, dropped into a box, and the winner of the election was chosen.

Wendy Bales won the drawing of lots, an unusual process used in many municipalities after a tie election.

Both Bales and her opponent Annie Silver received 136 votes in the election, leading to the judicial recount at the Chilliwack courthouse.

After the one-hour recount of approximately 370 ballots, FVRD’s chief election officer Jaime Schween announced the results.

“We have a tie,” she said, to which Judge Robert Hamilton agreed.

During the election two ballots received particular scrutiny. The FVRD process directed electors to put an “X” inside the circle of the chosen candidate. One ballot had the box next to Bales’ name coloured in, instead, with an X marked outside the box.

That ballot was initially rejected but later deemed OK, a ruling that led to the tie. In court on Friday, Judge Hamilton agreed that was a good ballot.

Another ballot, however, had part of a mark started in the box for candidate Mel Waardenburg then a full X in the box for Silver. That ballot was rejected.

After the drawing of lots, Silver addressed the court to complain.

“So a precedent has been set,” she said. “When you go to vote, it’s clearly stated how you vote and where you mark your X.… Now obviously we are allowed to vote outside the circle and outside the box and it’s going to be valid.”

She said she planned to file with the BC Supreme Court to have the election overturned. Silver went further, however, alleging “racism and bias” on the part of Bales and her campaign.

Outside the courtroom, she did not elaborate on this other than to say that it was claimed that because Silver is First Nation with the St’sailes band, she doesn’t pay taxes so supposedly doesn’t have the right to direct FVRD tax dollars.

Asked about this accusation, Bales denied it.

“I didn’t say that at all,” Bales told Black Press. “I know she had a right to run in the election.”

And while deemed the winner, Bales had her own criticism over the process and how the election was held in Area C, which includes Hemlock Valley/Harrison Mills/Lake Errock/Morris Valley.

Bales criticized what she called vagueness of some wording in the election act, and during the election she said voters could not easily find polling stations nor was the election advertised well enough.

“People were driving all over the place looking for polling stations,” Bales said.

Mel Waardenburg was the third candidate in the Area C election and received 99 votes. All three were in courtroom 205 Friday morning along with lawyer for the FVRD, chief election officer Schween and two election officials.

It was a closed courtroom for the recount as one by one Schween picked up a green ballot, showed it to the judge and to the candidates in the gallery, and read the names aloud: “Bales… Silver… Waardenburg.”

The counting took about an hour and was completed by 11:05 a.m.

Legislation affords local governments the ability to either have a runoff election or decide the winner by a drawing of lots after a tie. The FVRD’s bylaw orders the drawing of lots.

Names were then required to be written on two pieces of paper folded in the same manner and put into a receptacle large enough to shake around. Then the name was drawn by Hamilton. When it was read aloud that Wendy Bales had won, she made no reaction.

• READ MORE: Tied: New Area-C director to be determined by draw


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack RCMP find chemicals and cannabis extract in illicit lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Chilliwack RCMP seek suspects in rash of poppy donation box thefts

Incidents at four different locations in Sardis in the days leading up to Remembrance Day

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Train ride at Minter store not part of this year’s festive fun

Tough decision made to stop seasonal train in its tracks after injury suffered by Brian Minter

Players Guild challenges Chilliwack residents to solve classic Agatha Christie whodunit mystery

The Chilliwack Players Guild is performing Murder on the Nile from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Most Read