“Spoiled” Ballots To Be Included In Recount

Wednesday, June 01, 2005 at 16:18



The first round of appeal hearings for candidates in the recent Lac La Ronge Indian band election is over.


The first of three challenges was heard this morning by Beardy’s-Okemasis Chief Gary Littlepine at the Prince Albert Inn.


Littlepine, who was appointed to deal with appeals stemming from the March vote, dealt first with a challenge by Samson Ratt — a council candidate out of Hall Lake.


Ratt contends he lost a close vote to fellow candidate Leonard Halkett due to 13 spoiled ballots that later went missing.


He also says band members who live in other reserves were allowed to vote in Hall Lake, and he wants to know why.


In the end, Littlepine examined all 13 ballots in question and determined they were valid. He then ordered another recount.


Meanwhile, an attorney for chief electoral officer Charles Whitecap told the hearing Section 11 of the Election Act makes it unclear whether band members can vote for councillors in other areas.


However, in the interest of fairness, Whitecap says he determined before the election that all band members could cast their vote in the riding they live in or the one they consider to be their home community.


The recount of the Hall Lake poll results is due to happen within two weeks.