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Regional district asks court to overturn election results in rural Alberni Valley area

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District submits bid to Supreme Court to have 2022 results deemed invalid

The Alberni Clayoquot Regional District has filed a petition with the Supreme Court of British Columbia, asking that the Electoral Area ‘F’ (Cherry Creek) election from October 2022 be declared invalid.

On election night, Mike Sparrow was named winner of the seat by a margin of four votes over opponent Darren DeLuca.

READ: Results of close Cherry Creek election going to Supreme Court

In a review of the voter book following the election, it became apparent that some voter registration forms were not filled in correctly, as required by the Local Government Act.

After consulting with legal counsel, Wendy Thomson, chief electoral officer for the ACRD initiated proceedings to have the Electoral Area ‘F’ (Cherry Creek) election declared invalid.

“The ACRD will always protect the integrity of its elections,” Thomson explained. “With results this close, where just four votes could change the outcome, it is vital that all voter registration forms are filled out completely. We acknowledge the impacts this may have, but our legal obligations are clear; therefore, we have requested a new election for the office of Director in Electoral Area ‘F’.”

Legal counsel representing the Regional District intend to present the case in Nanaimo during the week of Nov. 14. If the court declares the election invalid, a new election for Area ‘F’ will be conducted as soon as possible, within the timelines set out in the Local Government Act.

This is the second time in two elections that the ACRD has petitioned the Supreme Court to declare an election invalid. In 2018, a review of votes after the election showed that 13 voters in Area B (Beaufort) had erroneously voted in Cherry Creek. Both areas ended up having a by-election after the Supreme Court declared the results invalid.

About the Author: Alberni Valley News Staff

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