Election challenge dismissed in court

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The court application brought by mayoral candidate Robert Powers for a recount of the 2018 Ward 1 municipal election has been dismissed by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

According to a release from the municipality, Justice Howard heard arguments from legal counsel for the municipality and Powers recently.

Powers had raised concerns about certain ballots being classified as an “unspecified poll.” In his decision, Justice Howard addressed this “unspecified poll” information, and ruled that “such information is not required to be on the ballots, but rather is additional, optional information that the respondent included in the ballots for informational and/or statistical purposes … the ‘unspecified poll’ matrix information does not relate to a vote and, strictly speaking, is not relevant to the actual election results.

“There is a public interest in having certainty in elections such that, among other things, the candidates and the citizens are not left with a cloud hanging over an election. In my view, based on the evidence before me, there has been no valid reason presented that would justify a recount of the Ward 1 election, and in the circumstances of the instant case, it is not in the public interest to order a recount. The application is therefore dismissed,” Justice Howard concluded in his decision.

The Municipal Clerk and Chief Returning Officer, Judy Smith, was pleased with the decision of the Court.

“We were confident that the election had been run fairly and the will of the citizens of Ward 1 had been reflected in the final vote totals. However, we also respect the court’s roll in oversight of this important process and appreciated Justice Howard’s timely review and decision,” she said in a release.

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