B.C. Election: Recounts In 2 Ridings Could Swing Outcome

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VICTORIA — Elections BC has rejected four of the six requests for recounts in ridings where the outcome in the provincial election was determined by less than 600 votes.

Two requests were submitted for the riding of Vancouver-False Creek, and one for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, Courtenay-Comox, Maple Ridge-Mission, and Richmond-Queensborough.

Recounts will go ahead for Vancouver-False Creek and Courtenay-Comox and are to take place between May 22 and 24, Elections BC said in a news release Saturday.

morgane oger
NDP candidate Morgane Oger speaks to constituents during the campaign. Oger's riding of Vancouver-False Creek will go ahead between May 22 and 24, according to Elections BC. (Photo: Morgane Oger/Facebook)

Recount requests are accepted if the difference between the top two candidates is 100 votes or less, or if there were errors with accepting votes, rejecting ballots or discrepancies between the ballot count and number of votes for a candidate.

Elections BC said not all requests met the 100 vote or less criteria or provided enough evidence that ballots were improperly accepted or recorded.

For Vancouver-False Creek, Liberal incumbent Sam Sullivan was elected by 560 votes ahead of New Democrat Morgane Oger.

Although Oger's request for a recount was denied, Elections BC said it accepted a request from BC Citizens First Party candidate Phillip James Ryan because of evidence of discrepancies in counting.

An advanced voting ballot account recorded 403 votes for one candidate but the tally sheet and parcel envelope containing ballots for that candidate lists 399.

The Courtenay-Comox recount was accepted because the difference between the top two candidates was a mere nine votes.

Liberal candidate Jim Benninger, who lost the riding to New Democrat Ronna-Rae Leonard, submitted the request.

jim benninger
B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark shares a laugh with local candidate Jim Benninger during a campaign stop in Courtney, B.C. on Monday. (Photo: Jonathan Hayward/CP)

Aman Singh, NDP candidate in Richmond-Queensborough, requested a recount after losing the riding to Liberal candidate Jas Johal by 263 votes but was denied.

NDP incumbent Jodie Wickens who lost the Coquitlam-Burke Mountain riding to Liberal candidate Joan Isaacs by 268 votes was also denied a recount.

Any changes discovered through a recount could have a significant impact on the results of the election.

Christy Clark's Liberals are one seat shy of a majority government with 43 seats, while John Horgan's New Democrats have 41 and Andrew Weaver's Greens hold the balance of power with three.

The final count, which will include 176,000 absentee ballots, could also swing the results.

Applicants can still request a judicial recount up to six days after the final count is released on May 24.

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