North·NWT Votes 2019

Here's when, and how, Yellowknife's 2 judicial recounts will take place

Two Yellowknife races that were too close to call in last week's territorial election should be decided Wednesday, as judicial recounts have been scheduled for the electoral districts of Frame Lake and Yellowknife North.

Territorial races in Yellowknife North and Frame Lake were both within 2 per cent threshold

Cory Vanthuyne, Rylund Johnson, Kevin O'Reilly, and Dave Ramsay will find out their fate on Wednesday, as recounts for the races of Yellowknife North and Frame Lake are set to take place in a Yellowknife courtroom. (CBC)

Two Yellowknife races that were too close to call in last week's territorial election should be decided Wednesday, as judicial recounts have been scheduled for the electoral districts of Frame Lake and Yellowknife North.

The recounts themselves have been scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and will be overseen by Justice Shannon Smallwood, Chief Electoral Officer Nicole Latour confirmed this afternoon. Frame Lake will be counted first, followed by Yellowknife North.

Judicial recounts are automatically triggered when the final margin of victory in an election is within 2 per cent of the total number of ballots cast. In Frame Lake, incumbent Kevin O'Reilly defeated Dave Ramsay by 11 votes.

In Yellowknife North, newcomer Rylund Johnson unseated incumbent Cory Vanthuyne by just five, with Jan Vallillee trailing behind by about 130 votes.

"In 2015 we did three [recounts], it took us a day and a half," said Latour. "These are two larger EDs [electoral districts], so I suspect this will take the better part of a day."

Ramsay has criticized the recounting of online ballots, noting that there won't be physical ballots to be recounted. Latour confirmed that the judge will be given the total number of online ballots cast in the election, without names of voters provided in order to preserve privacy.

"Essentially, it'll be the totals that have been recorded for both the individuals," she said.

Latour says that she's hopeful the recount will be completed and the final results of the elections certified by the end of the day. The candidates and their agents will be allowed to observe the recounting and challenge ballots, and the count will also be open to media.

Once everyone is situated, the recount will take place, with the ballots individually recounted by the electoral district's returning officer, overseen by the judge.

After all is said and done, she said, "the returning officer will fill out the return of the writ, and provide it back to me, and that will be signed and that will be that." 

With files from Laura Busch

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