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Losing Sask. candidates consider recount requests in tight election races

REGINA – There were two extremely close races in the federal election in Saskatchewan that saw the NDP slip ahead slightly to be victorious, but their opponents are now questioning the wins.

In a tight race, NDP candidate Erin Weir edged out Conservative candidate Trent Fraser to become the new MP for the Regina-Lewvan riding.

The race was so neck-in-neck that Fraser said his team is considering requesting a recount, suggesting there may have been challenges at some polling stations.

“We will consider making sure that all people able to vote actually voted,” he said Monday night. “The margin is that close that we’re certainly considering a recount.”

Weir said Tuesday that the results were tight but clear, and he’s confident with the outcome.

“I do believe the Conservative’s Fair Elections Act may have made it harder for people to vote but it was the Conservatives themselves that put those rules in place, and we had to contend with that,” he said.

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According to Elections Canada, a judicial recount will automatically take place if the candidates are separated by less than one one-thousandth of the total votes cast.

The Regina-Lewvan riding saw close to 48,000 residents cast a ballot, and it would only constitute a recount had it been within 47 votes.  Weir won by 143 votes.

Candidates can still request a recount within four days but must include an affidavit stating the reason why.  Any concerns about irregularities though must go through a contested election application.

Fraser’s campaign office said they are reviewing the election results and meeting as a team to determine what steps, if any, to take moving forward.

There’s a similar secondary battle brewing in northern Saskatchewan.  The NDP claimed their third seat in the province in the Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River riding. 

Georgina Jolibois defeated Liberal candidate Lawrence Joseph by only 70 votes.  Joseph’s campaign office said they are hoping for a recount.

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