Voters are going to have to wait a little longer to find out the “official” results of Saturday’s election.
The city’s election website stated that results would be posted on Tuesday, however, the official addition of the votes took longer than expected.
“What we did today was we offered an opportunity for all the candidates from all the different districts to come in and observe the count,” said Brendan Elliott, Halifax Regional Municipality spokesperson.
As per the Municipal Elections Act, the official tabulation of votes has to start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the third day after ordinary polling day. All candidates have the right to be in attendance and verification process continues until everyone is satisfied.
“We had no idea how many candidates would want to come in and observe the vote count. We wanted to make sure no one felt rushed so we just blocked off two-hour segments for the districts. It just meant that logistically we couldn’t get everybody done today so we had to book some appointments for tomorrow.”
Elliott said Wednesdays appointment is reserved for a candidate who ran in the school board election.
Official results from all districts are now expected to be available by the end of the day on Wednesday.
But at least one candidate already has his mind set on a recount.
“There was basically one per cent difference between me and Ms. Blackburn who won the council seat,” said District 14 incumbent Brad Johns.
“I think I owe it both to my residents – a number of people have contacted me – as well as my kids to ask to see those ballots.”
Johns was unofficially defeated by councillor-elect Lisa Blackburn on Saturday by 47 votes. He said since then a number of issues have been brought to his attention and he had found himself questioning the legitimacy of the voting process.
“People went to the polls, they didn’t have to show ID. As recently as 5 minutes before meeting you I was actually contacted by a resident who received two ballots in the mail and the only difference was the middle initial in [their] name.”
Johns said he thinks part of his loss comes down to voter apathy, something Blackburn disagrees with.
“The absolute truth is there was 47 votes separating Brad Johns from me,” said Blackburn.
“But what he is forgetting is the 700-some other people that voted fort he third candidate, Kevin Copley, which I think is a clear indication the district was ready for change.”
She said she was fully expecting a recount but doesn’t think it’ll make a difference
“I think it will be probably pretty close to the official results they released on Saturday, maybe give or take one or two. Will it be a difference of 47? I highly doubt it, but it is his prerogative to ask for an official recount and I support that.”
Candidates have until Tuesday, October 25 to submit an application for a recount.