The B.C. NDP has requested a vote recount in the riding of Vancouver-False Creek and will likely know the fate of that request by early next week.
Initial vote counts indicate Liberal Sam Sullivan won the seat by 560 votes over Morgane Oger of the NDP. Oger told the Courier May 11 that she wouldn’t concede defeat until after absentee ballots were counted later this month.
“If on [May 22] the number of absentee votes is too small and nothing else comes up, we will certainly concede at that time,” Oger said.
The deadline to request a recount of election night ballots is midnight on May 13, which played a large part in the NDP taking the tact that it did. Judicial recounts can be requested after the final count later this month.
B.C. NDP deputy director Glen Sanford told the Courier that at least one ballot box needs to be recounted due to an error made on election night. The nature of that error is unknown, nor is the amount of ballots that need to be recounted.
“If it was for an advance ballot box it could be a few hundred,” Sanford said. “If it was a small poll in a seniors’ building it could be six, so we don’t know.”
Sanford expects the recount request to be decided upon by early next week. Sanford was unclear if Elections BC has ever turned down such a request.
“We took prudent steps to make sure that every ballot is double counted, that we double check everything and make sure that the results reflect what the voters of Vancouver-False Creek desire,” he said.
The NDP is also requesting recounts in two other hotly-contested Metro Vancouver ridings: Coquitlam-Burke Mountain was separated by 268 votes, while Richmond-Queensborough was decided by 263 votes.
About 176,000 absentee ballots have not been counted yet. That process is expected to start on May 22 and conclude by May 24.
Elections BC has a wide range of guidelines around recounts. In the event of a tie vote, or if the split between the first two candidates is less than 1/500 of the total ballots, the district electoral officer must make an application for a judicial
In the context of Vancouver-False Creek, that 1/500 threshold translates to 110 votes, based on the 21,923 valid votes recorded in the riding on election night.
The following excerpts are taken from the Elections BC guide around the grounds on which recounts can be requested:
- A voter, candidate, candidate’s representative or district electoral officer may make an application for a judicial recount if they believe errors were made in the acceptance or rejection of certification envelopes or ballots, or if the ballot account is not correct.
- the difference of votes between the top two candidates is 100 or fewer, or if there is a belief that errors were made in the acceptance or rejection of ballots, or if the ballot account does not accurately record the number of votes for a candidate.
- votes were not correctly accepted or rejected as required under the rules for accepting and rejecting ballots.
- unopened or resealed certification envelopes or secrecy envelopes contain ballots that should have been considered.
- a ballot account does not accurately record the number of votes for a candidate
- final count did not correctly calculate the total number of votes for a candidate.