Port Moody-Coquitlam recount terminated, CPC candidate remains winner

Bonita Zarillo (left) initiated a judicial recount of her Port Moody-Coquitlam election defeat to Nelly Shin (right). Zarillo / Shin campaigns

A judicial recount in the hotly-contested B.C. riding of Port Moody–Coquitlam is over, and the Conservative candidate that eked out a narrow win on election night will retain the seat.

NDP candidate Bonita Zarrillo had requested the recount, after Elections Canada certified the vote count, showing she was just 153 votes behind Conservative Nelly Shin.

READ MORE: Recount underway in B.C. riding decided by just 153 votes

Elections Canada said the recount was “terminated on request” by the NDP candidate, and that the result is unchanged.

Zarillo said she requested the end to the recount upon discovering “administrative mistakes” after the first day of the recount. Elections Canada had previously said the count could take as long as four days.

“There was no reason to carry on once those were verified, and I was satisfied that the community had every vote counted,” she said.

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The administrative errors amounted to issues in the way the ballots were being filed, she explained, rather than any problems with the ballots themselves.

Click to play video: 'NDP granted recount in Port Moody-Coquitlam' NDP granted recount in Port Moody-Coquitlam
NDP granted recount in Port Moody-Coquitlam – Oct 30, 2019

Zarillo said she also felt bad for Elections Canada staff who had to go through the grueling process of counting and examining every ballot.

“It’s been a very long process for those who are working in Elections Canada — the volunteers, that sort of thing — and it was a very, very busy but full day,” she said.

“I just didn’t think it was appropriate to ask them to do it again the following day.”

Zarillo called for the recount after seeing the difference between her and Shin change between Election Night and the days that followed.

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Elections Canada reported that there were more than 500 spoiled ballots in the riding.The termination of the recount means the certified results for the riding will stand. Shin won with 16,855 votes, followed by Zarrillo with 16,702.Liberal candidate Sara Badiei finished third with 15,695 votes.Zarillo remains a city councillor for Coquitlam.—With files from Robyn Crawford

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