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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Town of Pincher Creek recount: Anderberg still Mayor


Chris Davis - A recount of the ballots for Mayor in the Town of Pincher Creek election was conducted this morning.  The results: Don Anderberg 702 (compared to 701 in the original count) and Dianne Gray 329 (compared to 330 in the original count).  All numbers are 'unofficial' at this time.  Gray asked for the recount (click here for that story).

Town CAO Laurie Wilgosh and Returning Officer Lou Burnham signed the below letter that responds to questions asked by Gray in her request for the recount.


October  18, 2017
Attention:    Pincher  Creek Residents
Re:  Election  Recount  Letter

The returning officer for the Town of Pincher Creek received a request for an official recount of electoral event on October 16, 2017 as per section 98 of the Local Authorities Election Act. In the request, nine questions were raised by Mayoral candidate Dianne Gray. As these questions have been publicly published there has been a decision to respond publicly.

At all times the Returning Officer and administration for the Town of Pincher Creek have followed required legislation. There was a malfunction in the online reporting website between 8:30p.m. and 10:49p.m. The results on the website were compounding, or totalling instead of displaying the correct total. As soon as this was realized the error was fixed, at 10:49p.m. At no time, did the place standings of Mayoral or Council candidates change, the only change was the number of reported votes.

1) How were they verified in such a short period of time for the last high number tally?

All results are unofficial for a 4 day period, during this time a recount can be requested in accordance with section 98 of the LocalAuthorities Election Act. All ballots were counted in accordance to the Location Authorities Election Act.

2) How was the actual count for each candidate decided upon and modified?

The actual count for each candidate was not modified at any time, the count is reflective of the ballots received during the electoral process.

3) Why the first initial numbers reflected over 2500 for many of the councillorin the early count and then suddenly alerted to be 844, 765, 787 or how my count changes from 652 to 330 as examples.
As stated above, the count entered into the website was compounding the totals, this was a malfunction that was corrected at 10:49p.m.

4) Where is the statement of Poll?
As per section 97(2) of the LocalAuthorities Election Act a statement of poll will be officially available on day 5.

5) Is that why there were so many errors?

This question is not clear and therefore we are unable to provide an answer.

6) Who submitted these numbers into the town's system?

The Returning Officer left the counting room and submitted poll results to a member of Town Administration. The poll results were entered into a spread sheet that was then printed and submitted to another member of administration to enter into the Towns website.  The Returning Officer does not have access to the Town's website to enter numbers. At no time, were any of the numbers altered or changed. Proof of all documents are available for review at the Town Office.

7) Have all of your signed documents of residents who came in to vote actually live in the Town? Is that one reason the numbers were inaccurate?

All electors completed voting registers (form 8} in accordance with section 47, 53, 54, 59 and 78 of the Local Authorities Election Act. As per section 54, a candidate, official agent or scrutineer may only make an objection under subsection one at the time the person makes the statement.

8} How many actual voters were there?

1040, there were 9 spoiled ballots.

9) Were any of the town staff involved with the election process as many reports have stated that many were seen wandering in the counting room which goes against the ElectionsAct.

No Town Staff accessed the counting room after the polls were closed. The Returning Officer delivered poll results to an adjacent room where the process referred to in question 6 was initiated. People present in the counting room were; two scrutineers, thirteen deputy returning officers and one returning officer.

An official mayoral recount as requested by Dianne Gray was completed on October 18, 2017. During the recount the Returning Officer, 1 deputy returning officer, a scrutineer and a candidate were present. The recount numbers were 702 Don Anderberg 329 Dianne Gray.

Further questions regarding the process can be addressed with the Returning Officer.  An official statement of the polls will be available after October 20, 2017 as per the Local Authorities Election Act.

Laurie Wilgosh
CAO,Town of Pincher Creek

Lou Burnham
Returning Officer

1 comment:

  1. Was a recount a complete waste of time and money? I cannot, for the life of me, understand why one was needed? The Town and Returning Officer have answered Ms. Gray's questions very well but still... I wonder why this had to be dragged out in a public forum. I would imagine that a simple phone call placed to the Town Office would likely glean the necessary answers with respect to the numbers being changed.
    Was the source of Ms. Gray's request for a recount a profound misunderstanding of the Elections Act/process (as some of her questions seem to indicate)? Am I the only one who will speak to the elephant in the room? My take on this is that it is nothing more than Ms. Gray’s attempt at a revelation of “Dark Forces” within the governance of this town? Really? OMG! This whole issue smells to me like a failed "partisan charge" aimed a group of people doing a great job and that’s it! How can it be anything more than a simplistic parting shot from an unsuccessful mayoral candidate?
    As earlier stated, I hope this lack of Ms. Gray's understanding of the process and unchecked conjecture/accusations did not cost the tax payers of the Town of Pincher Creek extra money. Not to beat a dead horse… as it were… elephant and all… the system worked as designed... proving itself above reproach. I appreciate the democratic process and the great people and voters who make it work.
    And in the end regardless of my or anyone’s opined view the process did just that! Questions were answered at forums (for the most part)… signs set out… election day held… ballots tendered then counted… accusatory letter sent to media… ballots recounted… letter sent to media in response to accusatory letter sent to media… and… finally… I almost forgot... the culmination of this wonderful process is that we the people (that cared to vote) chose a Mayor and Councillors from a very excellent group of people... And that is really what this whole process was about... I hope!

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