Beverley Iglesias, right, has filed documents with the BC Supreme Court in Kamloops claiming the results of the 2018 Chase municipal election are not valid. (Rick Koch photo)

Unsuccessful Shuswap mayoral candidate says election not valid

Beverley Iglesias files court documents stating ineligible voters in Chase cast ballots

The third-place candidate in the recent Chase mayoral election has filed a petition to the court declaring the results of the election invalid.

In a Notice of Civil Claim filed with the BC Supreme Court in Kamloops on Nov. 21, Beverley Ann Fernande Iglesias claims there are irregularities with the addresses of 12 people who voted in the Chase mayoral election and that hosting the elections for Thompson Nicola Regional District director, school district trustee and Chase municipal government at the same location caused confusion for voters.

Iglesias is petitioning the court to declare the election invalid and so force another election for Chase’s mayor and council.

The notice of claim names the Village of Chase and Sean O’Flaherty, a village employee, who acted as chief election officer as defendants for the election on Oct. 20.

Twelve voters who cast a ballot deciding Chase’s mayor and council are named in the notice of claim as ineligible to cast a ballot.

Related: Chase mayor wins by 11 votes over incumbent

The document filed with the court states seven people who voted did so after registering with addresses outside the village boundaries. According to the notice of claim, a further four voters listed their addresses as businesses or commercial buildings.

“At least four individuals who voted in the municipal election were ineligible, as their residential addresses declared were Chase businesses or commercial/industrial buildings. Applications by the landowner to the Village of Chase for residential suites were not apparent,” the document reads.

The document also says one voter’s residential address could not be substantiated.

The validity of the 12 ballots mentioned in the document are especially important as the mayoral race was decided by only 11 votes. Rod Crowe won the election with 256 votes; he was followed by David Lepsoe with 245 votes. Iglesias was 56 votes behind Crowe.

Along with the alleged ineligible votes, Iglesias’ court filing also claims that campaign signs in favour of Crowe were placed on a residential property on Adams Lake Indian Band land and also beside the roadway over the bridge leading from Chase to the Adams Lake Indian Band reserve.

Related: Chase and District Chamber of Commerce holds all-candidates’ meeting

“Such ‘Vote for Mayor’ sign(s) could have misled reserve residents to believe they were eligible to vote in the Village of Chase municipal election,” the document reads.

According to the notice of claim, a petition in support of Iglesias’ application to the court is being circulated in Chase.

Iglesias told the Shuswap Market News she submitted the civil claim to the court because she is concerned with the fairness and legality of the election – she added there is a large group of people in Chase who share her concerns and they are helping circulate her petition. She hopes her legal action will lead to an examination of the election processes to see how the allegedly ineligible voters were able to cast a ballot.

Iglesias said she believes there are more ineligible voters who cast a ballot than the 12 named in her court filing.

On Nov. 21 O’Flaherty said the village has not been served court documents yet and so has not begun trying to verify or disprove the claims made in the document.

He added that the election was conducted in good faith and within the confines of the Local Government Act.

O’Flaherty stressed that voters sign a declaration stating they reside in the Village of Chase amongst other qualifications and that the onus is on them to know whether they are eligible to vote.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Liam’s Lowdown: it’s the little things that get you

At first, the name of my column was going to be Liam’s Lament

Despite brief shut downs Revelstoke’s Downie Timber weathering the storm

The forestry industry is taking a hit across the province

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 21

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 21

Two musical acts playing The Last Drop on Aug. 24

See John Michael Lind and She Hangs Brightly

VIDEO: B.C. Mountie killed by drunk driver honoured by memorial playground

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Renter of torched Okanagan home a British Army veteran, new Canadian

Owen Wilson was just beginning to settle into life in Canada when the blaze occurred

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Meet the Okanagan’s newest homeless outreach team

The Vernon Homeless Outreach Team makes its first formal appearance Aug. 28 at Upper Room Mission

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Most Read