Roger Kishi addresses a crowd at a sod-turning ceremony in May at the Braidwood site. Scott Stanfield photo

Roger Kishi requests recount after losing Cumberland council seat by two votes

Kishi is asking for the fourth and fifth place candidate votes to be recounted

Roger Kishi has filed an application for a judicial recount after losing his seat on council by just two votes.

In for his second term, Sean Sullivan had the fourth most votes of the council candidates with 602, beating out long-term councillor, Kishi, with 600.

“When it comes down to two votes… then it’s coming down to a difference of 0.2 per cent, so it’s a small margin,” said Kishi.

Kishi filed the application on Oct. 26, requesting a recount for the fourth and fifth place candidates. He is also seeking the costs of the court action.

“I made the request to the Village to do [a recount] and they wouldn’t, so I was only left with the process to apply to the courts,” said Kishi, adding he is unsure why the Village denied his request.

Chief Election Officer, Rachel Parker, said Kishi’s request to the Village for a manual recount came in on the afternoon of Oct. 24, and due to time constraints, the Village was unable to accommodate this request.

“The official results have to be out by 4 p.m. [on Oct. 24], that’s a statutory requirement,” she said. “So to have a manual recount, there wasn’t time to make that happen.”

According to the application, “The Local government act does not mandate an automatic recount,” but an elector, candidate or the Chief Election Officer can request one.

In an affidavit explaining his reasoning for applying for a judicial recount, Kishi states there were 1399 ballots placed through the scanner, but only 1398 electors registered and issued ballots. He also stated that a blank ballot was counted at the special poll, and it is possible the scanner was unable to read the voter’s intention.

Parker confirms the ballot inconsistency and that a blank ballot was received and accepted. She also noted that the success rates of automated voting machines are very high and the Local Government Act permits the use of these machines.

Kishi will bring the application to court on Oct. 30 at 9:30 a.m. According to B.C.’s Local Government Act, judicial recounts must be completed 13 days after voting closes – in this case, Nov. 2.

Sullivan said he was not surprised Kishi has applied for a judicial recount.

“I think with two votes, this is something that would have to be expected, so I await the verdict on Tuesday,” he said.

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