Judicial recount approved for Port Moody–Coquitlam riding

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NDP granted recount in Port Moody-Coquitlam
With a vote gap less than 200, a judicial recount is granted for the tri-city riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam. Sarah MacDonald reports – Oct 30, 2019

A federal court judge has ruled that a recount sought by the NDP in the highly-contested Port Moody-Coquitlam riding will happen in the next couple of weeks.

NDP candidate Bonita Zarrillo tells Global News: “We have received a decision from the judge today that there will be a recount for this area. The people will get the recount that they were asking for, and I’m looking forward in the next week or two to have the final judicial recount happen for this community.”

Elections Canada will manage the recount.

Conservative Nelly Shin eked out a victory in the Port Moody–Coquitlam riding, narrowly beating Zarrillo, a three-term Coquitlam city councillor, by just 153 votes.

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The tight three-way race saw the Liberal candidate, Sara Badiei, finish just 1,007 votes behind Zarrillo.

Under Elections Canada rules, a recount is automatically triggered if the gap between first and second place is 0.01 per cent or less of the total number of ballots cast in a riding.

Even with the slim margin, that wasn’t the case in Port Moody where about 52,000 ballots were cast, meaning the NDP needed to convince a judge that a recount was deserved.

However, the gap between first and second place was 333 votes on election night, but has been halved to just 153 after the results were verified by Elections Canada.

There were also more than 500 spoiled ballots counted in the riding, according to Elections Canada.

“This recount is really more about the people and making sure every ballot is counted,” said Zarrillo. “It’s a case of wanting the peoples’ voice to be heard.”

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Political Panel

A judge can order a judicial recount if ballots were incorrectly counted or rejected or if an election officer made an error on the official Statement of the Vote.

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Elections Canada confirmed candidates had requested judicial recounts in two other Quebec ridings: Hochelaga, where the Bloc Quebecois lost to the Liberals by just over 300 votes, and Quebec, where the Liberals defeated the Bloc by just 215 votes.

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