Ballot Vote Recounted

The case involved one ballot that was not read by the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s electronic voting machine, and if it would be counted in a judicial recount.

The initial electronic vote count declared a tie between Marianne Wade and David Kirk, running for councillor. A review by the chief election officer yielded the same result. A judicial recount conducted by Justice Douglas Moss of the British Columbia Provincial Court resulted in Kirk being ahead by one vote, with one ballot, known as the “arrow ballot”, in question. That ballot was not read by the voting machine because the voter had not filled in the voting arrows beside the voter’s choices, but had instead drawn separate arrows pointing to the chosen candidates.

Justice Moss heard submissions dealing specifically with the “arrow ballot,” and decided to include the ballot in the results, and certified a tie vote.

Counsel for Wade argued that the judge had the discretion to review ballots not read by the voting machine and that the “arrow ballot” should be counted because it clearly showed the voter’s intentions. Wade was successful in the run-off election on January 11, 2003.

Lui Carvello and John Doolan of McCarthy Tétrault LLP acted for Marianne Wade. Nancy Wilhelm-Morden of Race & Company in Whistler, B.C., acted for David Kirk. Grant Murray and Grant Anderson of Lidstone Young Anderson in Vancouver acted for the Resort Municipality of Whistler.