Kingston, Ont., council candidate considering seeking recount

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Kingston, Ont., council candidate considering seeking recount
Loyalist-Cataraqui district candidate Jacqui Collier said she's exploring options to seek a re-count in the vote that was decided by 35 ballots – Oct 26, 2022

It was a razor thin margin in the race for the councillor position in the Loyalist-Cataraqui district of Kingston, Ont.

Monday’s election saw Paul Chaves winning over Jacqui Collier by a mere 35 votes out of 3,383 cast in the district — just over a one-per cent difference.

Collier said it’s so close that she’s exploring options for a recount.

“When it’s such a small margin I simply think that a recount is just good practice,” she said.

Her opponent and current councillor-elect for Loyalist-Cataraqui, Chaves, said that he isn’t surprised.

“Well, it was a close race. It was only 35 votes, so I’m not totally surprised. You have to give it to the voters of this district, they came out,” he said.

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The City of Kingston does not have a bylaw that triggers a recount for a close margin, only one for an exact tie.

However, city council could vote to take another look at an upcoming meeting if they choose to.

The other way to have a recount ordered is a bit more complicated.

“A person who has reasonable grounds for believing the election results to be in doubt can apply to the superior court of justice for an order that the clerk hold a recount,” said the city’s deputy clerk and assistant returning officer for Monday’s election, Janet Jaynes.

Collier said she’s considering whether she wants to go that route but admits it is a large undertaking.

“It is a process. If I obtained legal counsel, there are costs involved there, I’ve been told, in the range of $5,000 to $7,000 which is fairly prohibitive,” she added.

Now, the clock is ticking.

If Collier decides to pursue the superior court order, she has 30 days from Tuesday’s certification to file her application.

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If the order is granted by the superior court the city will have 15 days to hold the recount.

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