Manitoba

Glover campaign disputes party officials' claims about integrity of Manitoba PC leadership vote

Shelly Glover has asked Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench to throw out the results of the Progressive Conservative leadership race, which now-Premier Heather Stefanson won by 363 votes.

Glover's campaign responds to PC affidavits from Tuesday

Heather Stefanson and Shelly Glover embraced at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg on Oct. 30 after the Progressive Conservative leadership vote, which declared Stefanson the winner. Glover has asked Court of Queen's Bench to throw out the results of the race. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

Shelly Glover's campaign team is disputing the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba's claims about the integrity of its Oct. 30 leadership election.

Glover has asked Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench to throw out the results of the race, which now-Premier Heather Stefanson won by 363 votes.

Glover is also asking the court to order a new vote on the grounds the total vote count fluctuated on election day and that ballots were not kept secure.

On Tuesday, two party officials and a partner in the accounting firm filed sworn affidavits stating the mail-in ballots were kept under "lock and key" and that both campaigns agreed the preliminary vote counts were inaccurate.

In sworn affidavits filed Thursday in response, Glover and two members of her campaign team dispute those claims.

Braydon Mazurkiewich, a scrutineer for Glover, said in his statement there was no way to discern the number of ballots in any box on election day and that he witnessed unsealed ballot boxes being carried out of the counting room.

"At approximately 2:30 p.m., I noted that the ballot boxes were being removed from the counting room at the Victoria Inn. The ballot boxes were unsealed when being removed from the room," Mazurkiewich said.

Lawrence Toet, one of Glover's campaign managers, said in his statement he believed the total vote count, as communicated by the party early on Oct. 30, "correctly represents the number of votes cast in the election."

In an affidavit of her own, Glover said she received an email from campaign team member Dale Smeltz, who also disputed the notion both campaign teams considered the total vote count inaccurate.

Glover's team had issues with the quality of the data in the spreadsheet — but not the total number of votes.

"Our discussions all centred around the accuracy of mailing addresses, improper names [and] lack of accurate P.O. box numbers," Smeltz said in an email to Glover.

"At that stage there was never a discussion about the accuracy of the number of ballots placed in the ballot boxes."

Cross-examinations on the affidavits in the case are slated for Nov. 29 and 30. 

Arguments in the case will be heard in court on Dec. 10.

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