Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District election irregularity goes to court

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District election irregularity goes to court

Electoral officer has asked for two area elections to be declared invalid

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District could be seeing a re-election after an “irregularity” was found in the 2018 official election results.

ACRD Chief Election Officer Wendy Thomson has submitted a petition to the Supreme Court to have the elections in Area B (Beaufort) and Area F (Cherry Creek) of the regional district either confirmed valid or declared invalid. If declared invalid, another election must be held.

According to court documents, Thomson was approached by two individuals who believed that some electors had voted in the wrong electoral area. A review of the votes showed that 13 voters in the Beaufort Area had erroneously voted in Cherry Creek.

Specifically, these erroneous votes originated from properties on Batty Road and Kitsuksis Road, which are properties in Beaufort that are also located in the Cherry Creek Waterworks District. This may have been the cause of the confusion.

Current Beaufort director Tanya Shannon won her election by a margin of 11 votes, while Cherry Creek director Dianne Bodnar won by a margin of only seven votes. A recount was conducted in Cherry Creek following the election, after Bodnar had initially been declared the Cherry Creek winner by just five votes.

Either of these elections could be swayed by the 13 erroneous votes.

While the matter is before the court, both Shannon and Bodnar will continue to fulfill their duties as electoral area directors. A hearing is scheduled to take place at the Port Alberni Law Courts on Monday, Dec. 3.

Because the matter is currently before the Court, members of the ACRD were not able to provide comment.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com