In the end, the result was the same, but the Penticton Indian Band electoral officers found themselves doing a recount yesterday.
While preparing the official election package for registering with band records and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada an error in calculation was discovered in the count for PIB council candidates.
The electoral officers immediately locked the ballots away and contacted all the council candidates to reconvene for an official recount. Each candidate was informed of the error, which might have changed the outcome of the vote.
Read more: Penticton Indian Band elects council members
To maintain the integrity of the count, only the candidates, their scrutineer and electoral officials were present.
Before publicly releasing details of the recount, the electoral officers wanted to have an open process for the candidates.
“When our community is faced with these types of challenges, being open with those it effects, is the way we get through it. We do it right away, there’s no waiting around or mincing words,” said electoral officer Valerie Baptiste.
All those present were provided tally sheets and after every ten ballots counted, all those present would verify the running total. An independent volunteer was invited to participate and verify the transparency of the process.
The selected format was chosen to reduce interruptions and/or distractions, increasing efficiency and minimizing the margin for error.
The recount lasted until after midnight in the presence of four electoral officials (two officers and two recorders), seven candidates, and four scrutineers.
The result of the detailed recount was that while some of the individual vote tallies changed, the same candidates were elected to council. There were 329 ballots cast, with 16 spoiled.
The eight seats will be held by: Elliot Tonasket – 160, Joseph Pierre – 147, Suzanne Johnson – 142, Naomi Gabriel – 140, Jonathan Kruger – 138, Clint George – 127, Denise Lecoy – 121 and Tim Lezard – 119.
Chad Eneas was elected as PIB chief in October.
Read more: New PIB Chief Chad Eneas thanks supporters