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Area C by-election opens for advance voters

Polls open until 8 p.m. Wednesday evening, with second round of advanced voting on Feb. 22

The first of two advanced polls opened Wednesday for the Area C by-election being held for rural residents around Fort St. John.

The electoral area includes the communities of Charlie Lake, Old Fort, Baldonnel, Grandhaven, Clairmont, and Two Rivers, who will be voting on a director to represent them on the board of the Pecae River Regional District.

The by-election is a do-over of October’s general election, the results of which were tossed after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled them invalid when it discovered voters outside the electoral area were given ballots despite being ineligible to vote.

Final results of the Oct. 15 election showed Suzanne Haab, a political newcomer, winning with just a three-vote edge over the incumbent Brad Sperling, 234 to 231.

The concern with the narrow margin was whether the actual number of ineligible votes cast impacted the margin, and to what degree. 

As a result, Supreme Court ruled the results couldn't be validated, meaning the position of Area C director was vacant.

Haab and Sperling were the only two candidates to file their nominations for the by-election.

Residents have until 8 p.m. Wednesday on Feb. 15 to cast an advanced ballot at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.

A second round of advanced polls takes place Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.

General voting day takes place Feb. 25, with poll stations at Charlie Lake and Baldonnel schools open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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