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Pemberton election goes to recount

Official result expected within the week

At the request of candidate Al LeBlanc, an official recount of the ballots in the Pemberton municipal election was conducted on Tuesday with the result that LeBlanc and Niki Vankerk are now tied with 308 votes each.

According to Vankerk, the ballots will now be sent out for an official judicial recount, which could take up to a week. If the election is still tied, said Vankerk, the winner will be drawn from a hat.

The election was initially tied, but Vankerk was given the win on Saturday night after a recount that gave her the edge by one vote. LeBlanc was given four days to challenge the results and did so on Tuesday. The chief elections officer for Pemberton set all the ballots aside without votes for LeBlanc or Vankerk and counted again, which is where the vote was found for LeBlanc.

Jurisdictions have several options to settle ties, from flipping coins to hosting runoff elections. In Whistler in 2002, Dave Kirk and Marianne Wade tied in the general election, resulting in a recount almost two months later. The election was opened up to other candidates as well, and in the end 11 candidates contested for the two spots. Marianne Wade won the run-off by a comfortable 43 votes.

Vankerk said Pemberton changed its bylaws in 2008 to allow ties to be settled by chance.

From Tuesday, she was told it could be 13 days before a decision was made but she's expecting an answer within the week.