More Municipal Election Duties for B.C. Provincial Court Judges

Posted to: 

To add to the Court’s election-related duties, when contested results in a municipal election lead to an application for a recount, legislation requires that a Provincial Court judge supervise it. This can be a challenging responsibility since the Court must make a judge available on short notice, legislation imposes time limits, and issues about contested ballots may be difficult and hotly disputed.

This fall Judge Justine Saunders conducted a recount for the Sayward Valley area of the Campbell River district school board election. The Electoral Officer sought a judicial recount when two candidates tied after 7 ballots were spoiled or rejected. When the tie was not broken by the recount, the winner was drawn by lot as the legislation permits, so a runoff election was not required.

Find judges’ decisions in past recounts at Judgments & Decisions on the B.C. Provincial Court website. Search for “judicial recount”. See also the Local Government Act and the Vancouver Charter for the legislation that provides for these recounts.