Red Deer County recount confirms election of Huelsman and Church
TIE-BREAKING RULE USED TO DETERMINE WINNERS
Recounts in two Red Deer County divisions have confirmed the Oct. 21 voting results, resulting in the election of Connie Huelsman in Division 4 and Don Church in Division 3, election officials said.
On Oct. 21, incumbent Penny Archibald and challenger Don Church each garnered 288 votes in Division 3, while incumbent David Hoar and challenger Connie Huelsman each garnered 328 votes in Division 4.
Under the Local Authorities Election Act, when it was determined following the Oct. 21 vote that there were ties in each division, returning officer Nancy Lougheed placed the names of the candidates in a receptacle and drew out one name for each division.
The candidates whose names were drawn – Don Church in Division 3 and Connie Huelsman in Division 4 – were then each given one additional vote and deemed to be elected.
When a Oct. 22 recount confirmed the tied votes, Huelsman and Church were confirmed elected, said Lougheed.
Asked if the fact the Local Authorities Elections Act was used to break the tie in the division concerns her, Connie Huelsman said no.
“It’s move on from here. I did see the democratic process at work and I think it was fair for both parties. I think it went very well,” Huelsman told the Gazette.
Don Church says he is pleased with his win and not concerned that it came down to a tiebreaker.
“I kept pace and got the lucky draw. That’s the way it is written down in the elections act and that’s the way it should be done,” said Church.
Archibald said she is not upset that the decision came down to a random draw.
“I don’t know if it is the best way, but that’s the way they do it,” said Archibald, who served 24 years on council. “I have a good run at it.”
Asked if she plans to take the matter any further, Archibald said no.
Hoar did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The other candidates elected in the county were Jean Marie Bota, Christine Moore, Richard Lorenz, Phillip Massier (by acclamation) and Mayor Jim Wood (also by acclamation).
Returning officer Nancy Lougheed said the fact there were ties in two divisions was certainly extraordinary.
“I was very happy to see that my election workers did the job they were supposed to do,” said Lougheed. “I’ve been doing elections since 1998 and I haven’t even had one tie vote on an original count.”