Driscoll vs. Driscoll: Coin toss could determine next mayor of Saint-Augustin, Que.

Two people vying for the mayor's seat in a small town on Quebec's Lower North Shore ended up with the identical number of votes: 147 apiece. Though not related, they also happen to share a last name.

147 votes for Gladys Driscoll, 147 votes for Shirlynn Driscoll in Lower North Shore village

If an election is tied, the winner is determined in a draw, according to Quebec municipal law. (Alistair Steele/CBC)

The luck of the draw could determine who will be the next mayor of a small Quebec town, after two candidates received an identical number of votes on the Nov. 5 municipal election.

They also happen to be cousins.

Gladys Martin Driscoll, the incumbent mayor of Saint-Augustin, a coastal town on Quebec's Lower North Shore, racked up 147 votes, out of the 620 registered electors.

Another 147 people gave their vote to candidate Shirlynn Driscoll.

"In the event of a tie, the returning officer [election officer] has to apply for a recount to a judge from the court of Quebec," said Marilyn Emond, interim director with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

The voter turnout in Saint-Augustin, on Quebec's Lower North Shore, was 49.7%. (Google maps)

The recount is set to happen Thursday in Sept-Îles, 550 kilometres west of Saint-Augustin.

If there is still a tie following the recount, municipal law states the winner of the election will be determined by a draw.

Emond said there is nothing in Quebec law that stipulates the nature of the draw.

"It's the returning officer who decides," Emond said.

The third candidate on the mayoral ballot in Saint-Augustin, Leo Lionel, received 11 votes.
The incumbent mayor and her opponent in the 2017 municipal race in the Lower North Shore community of Saint-Augustin, who share the last name Driscoll, garnered an identical number of votes. (Radio-Canada)

Other ties in Quebec

There were other tight races on election night in Quebec municipalities. 

In Escuminac, on the Gaspé coast, André Landry and Jean-Marc Vallée, competing for councillor seat number four, tied with 165 votes apiece and are awaiting for an official recount.

In Sainte-Luce, in the Lower Saint-Lawrence, Nathalie Pelletier and Gaston Rioux each got 533 votes.

In the nearby town of Grosse-Roches, runner-up Pâquerette Coulombe was only six votes short of the number cast for newly elected mayor, Victoire Marin.

Coulombe told Radio-Canada she trusted the electoral staff and was not going to ask for a recount, so that the municipality wouldn't incur the additional costs.


  • An earlier version of this story said Gladys Driscoll Martin and Shirlynn Driscoll were not related, based on information provided by an official at the municipal office. In fact, the two are cousins.
    Nov 16, 2017 4:07 PM ET