North

Recount confirms Rylund Johnson, Kevin O'Reilly's election wins

Kevin O'Reilly has held onto his Frame Lake seat while newcomer Rylund Johnson won in Yellowknife North, a judicial recount confirmed Wednesday evening.

Frame Lake challenger Dave Ramsay raises concerns about people voting in ridings where they don't live

A judicial recount Wednesday confirmed that newcomer Rylund Johnson, left, has won in the Yellowknife North riding and Kevin O'Reilly, right, has held onto his seat in Frame Lake. (CBC)

Kevin O'Reilly has held onto his Frame Lake seat while newcomer Rylund Johnson has won in Yellowknife North, a judicial recount in Yellowknife confirmed Wednesday evening. 

Johnson's win was confirmed at about 5:00 p.m. local time, following O'Reilly's victory being confirmed earlier in the day.

During the initial count on election night Oct. 1, newcomer Johnson defeated incumbent Cory Vanthuyne by just five votes at 501 to 496 with Jan Vallillee coming in third with 380 votes. Wednesday's recount upped Johnson's margin of victory by an additional vote.

The recount finished with Johnson's total at 503 votes, Vanthuyne at 497, and Vallillee remaining at 380. 

Judicial recounts are automatically triggered when the final margin of victory in an election is within two per cent of the total number of ballots cast. Both ridings fell within that margin.

Ramsay raises questions of voters in wrong district

O'Reilly initially won his race in the territorial election over challenger Dave Ramsay by just 11 votes. That margin was confirmed when a mandatory recount, overseen by N.W.T. Justice Shannon Smallwood, found O'Reilly won by 357 votes to Ramsay's 346.

"The results weren't going to change and, you know, I knew that," said Dave Ramsay of the Frame Lake recount. "It's a process we had to go through and I respect the process and the result and certainly wish Kevin [O'Reilly] all the best as he moves forward with the next government."

Ramsay did say, however, he "100 per cent knows that" at least two people who voted in Frame Lake don't actually live in the riding. 

Dave Ramsay says he accepts the results of the recount but has concerns that at least two people voted in Frame Lake who don't live in the riding. (Submitted)

"It's a small town. I know people and I know who lives where and it doesn't take long to connect dots," he said when questioned how he was aware of the issue. 

Ramsay said he does not know who these people voted for and noted their votes don't change the outcome of the race but said it's something he plans to raise with the chief electoral officer.

"It's not just in Frame Lake, it'll happen other places too," he said. "In this instance, I just know that it happened and, you know, people should be aware that people are watching." 

Chief electoral officer Nicole Latour said Ramsay will have to provide a statement with the names of the individuals he believes improperly voted, violating the territory's Elections and Plebiscites Act, to trigger an investigation.

"We'll have a look at everything," she said.

Latour said she's heard similar claims about other ridings this election.

"Until people provide us with the absolute information on it there's not much we can do. " 

With files from Sidney Cohen

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