Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District deputy chief electoral officer Shelli Lyle, left, observes as chief electoral officer Wendy Thomson goes over the election results of Oct. 20, 2018 before declaring them finalized. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Two Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District elections declared invalid

New elections will have to take place after irregularities found that could affect who was elected

The Supreme Court has declared two civic elections in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to be invalid, and new elections will have to take place in the Beaufort and Cherry Creek areas.

In November 2018, ACRD Chief Election Officer Wendy Thomson submitted a petition to the court after an “irregularity” was found in the results of the 2018 civic elections for Area B (Beaufort) and Area F (Cherry Creek). A review of the votes found that 13 electors in the Beaufort Area had erroneously voted in Cherry Creek.

READ: Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District election irregularity goes to court

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

READ: Election results affirmed in Alberni Valley

The court ruling was announced on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at the ACRD’s January board meeting. Neither Shannon nor Bodnar attended the meeting. The two seats will remain vacant until a new election takes place, or until the ACRD is advised otherwise.

“Staff hasn’t had time to review the full findings,” Thomson explained during the meeting. “Until we review that, we recommended that those directors not participate in this meeting in order to not invalidate any decisions today.”

A new date has not been set for the elections at this time. No estimate has been made yet on how much it will cost to re-run elections in those two districts.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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