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Area C election candidates set for a rematch

B.C. Supreme Court rules last month's invalid, by-election date to be set
The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled last month's municipal election in Area C as invalid.

The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled last month's municipal election for area director in Area C of the Peace River Regional District invalid.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the regional district said the court ruled the results can't be validated, based on potential ballots cast by residents living outside of the electoral area — that number unknown.

"The Court declared the election invalid due to issuance of ballots to electors from outside of Electoral Area C who were ineligible to vote," said a PRRD statement.

The ruling means the position of Area C director is vacant, it added.

"The PRRD will hold a by-election, as soon as possible, to fill the Area C Director position." 

Tyra Henderson, the PRRD's corporate officer and chief elections officer for last month's elections, confirmed this will not be a run-off election between the two candidates from October's ballot, but a full by-election, which means new candidates could put their names forward, if they wish.

Current sitting director, Suzanne Haab, confirmed to Alaska Highway News she will running in the upcoming by-election, whatever date that might be.

"I've really enjoyed the role, so far. I have a lot to learn, but I really like it," Haab said.

Former chair Brad Sperling has also said he plans to re-enter the race.

The final results showed Haab with just a three-vote edge over Sperling, 234-231.

Following a confirmation count, however, the concern with the narrow margin is the actual number of ineligible votes cast may have impacted the margin, and to what degree. 

"The Peace River Regional District is committed to upholding public trust in the democratic process and ensuring that elections are conducted in accordance with legislated procedures."

More, including a chosen date for the election, is expected in the coming days.

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