Archie Catholique

Archie Catholique and Felix Lockhart each received 63 votes in the March 14 election for chief of the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation. (Akaitcho Screening Board)

A tie between two potential chiefs means members of the Lutselk'e​ Dene First Nation in the Northwest Territories will have to start the voting process all over again.

An official recount confirmed that Archie Catholique and Felix Lockhart each received 63 votes in the March 14 election.

The First Nation ratified a new election code in January, aimed at making elections more transparent. Unfortunately, it didn’t foresee all potential election outcomes.

“There's no provision in the code at this time for some type of a tie-breaking election or an election of just the two candidates,” says Graeme Drew, the First Nation’s outgoing senior administrative officer, who acted as the electoral officer during the election.

Now the Election Committee has thrown out the results and the entire process, from nominations to voting, will have to start again.

Drew says the new election code has served the community well, apart from the tie oversight.

“According to the chief there were 17 issues outstanding with the election code that was used in 2012 and I understand it created quite a bit of confusion around the election process,” Drew says.

Drew says they will try to fix the new election code once a new chief has been elected.

A date for that vote has not been set.