A Nova Scotia man who put his life on hold and his home on the line to challenge the result of a school board election has had his day in court — and won.
Michael Fells argued it wasn't fair that he lost the Tri-County Regional School Board election last October because hundreds of people who aren't black voted for a seat set aside for African Nova Scotians.
On Tuesday, a judge in Yarmouth agreed.
Nova Scotia added an African Canadian seat to each of the eight regional school boards in 2010. Voting for the African Nova Scotian seat is open to people who are black or who are legal guardians or parents of children who are.
But many voters said the electronic voting system jammed if they didn't cast a ballot.
Court affidavits from 247 people who said they shouldn't have voted persuaded a judge to throw out the election results.
Fells said it was a long and difficult fight.
“It took its toll on me and my family, but it was the right thing to do to challenge it because we want the integrity of the election maintained. It wasn’t in this case,” he said.
Fells said he took on the battle in honour of his mother Ada, who was one of the early voices in the fight to create an African Nova Scotian seat.
The chair of the school board, Donna Tidd, said this is the first time the board had to deal with anything like this. She said the board is waiting for advice from the province about what the decision means and when a new election will be held.
Nova Scotia was the first province to set aside the seats.