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Election recount demanded by failed Kelowna council candidate dismissed

Sacheen Collecut claims ballot stuffing and fraud

A Kelowna council candidate,who placed 24th, claiming ballot stuffing, malfunctioning tabulation machines and fraud, had her day in court on Oct. 27.

Sacheen Collecut, a representative for Spirit Alliance, was seeking a judicial recount of all the ballots cast in Kelowna during the municipal election on Oct. 15.

However, the matter was dismissed due to the late filing of the affidavits, rendering them non-admissible in court.

The judge presiding over the matter also stated that Collecut did not properly inform the other candidates running for Kelowna City Council, mayor and school trustees, that she was filing for a recount.

The courtroom gallery was full of supporters, including the former organizer of anti-lockdown protests David Lindsay.

READ MORE: Warrant issued for anti-lock down protester facing assault charge in Kelowna

In court on Oct. 27, Collecut was requesting to know “how do we know that [people] are not voting multiple times… or voting in multiple locations?”

Collecut also raised concern that the ballot counting machine, may not have read the votes accurately.

“We cannot assume that the machines would be tabulating properly.”

The judge said that there is no evidence that the tabulation was incorrect, despite the fact that ballots were able to be entered into the machine in any direction.

Collecut submitted affidavits from election scrutineers who claim that the machines malfunctioned throughout the election.

Additionally, Collecut said that there seems to be “conflicts of interest,” in the municipal voting process. She said that scrutineer, at the polling stations had no duties and claimed they were not given direction.

She claimed this was unusual as she once worked as a scrutineer.

Crown counsel said that no tabulating method is perfect and that democracy is always an approximation.

The judge told the court that there was no need to address any of the issues in the affidavits as it was not admissible in court and the matter would be better processed through bylaw jurisdiction.

The City of Kelowna released a statement after the decision.

“We are confident in our procedures, election experience and the reported results,” said Laura Bentley the chief election officer.

The new mayor and council will be officially sworn in at the inaugural meeting on Monday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Kelowna Community Theatre. The event is open to the public.

READ MORE: ‘Catch-and-release horror story’: Kelowna killer’s release sparks debate in B.C. legislature


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Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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