Okanagan mayoral candidate denied recount

Vernon’s fourth-place finisher felt 229 votes was too low

The fact he only received 229 votes in the Oct. 20 municipal election is not sitting well with Vernon mayoral candidate Art Gourley.

The 75-year-old painter finished fourth behind winner Victor Cumming (4,928 votes), Darrin Taylor (3,608 votes) and Erik Olesen (990 votes).

RELATED: Cumming wins Vernon mayor’s chair

Gourley asked the City for a recount.

“I only received 229 votes and I don’t agree with that,” said Gourley. “For one thing, I stood at the corner of 43rd Avenue and Highway 97 from Oct. 17, 18, 19 and 20 and waved to people, and the response I got was greatly more than 229 for sure.

“Plus, I am a Christian and I’m sure I would have got more votes.”

According to the B.C. Local Elections Manual, whether to conduct an informal recount or not is strictly at the chief election officer’s discretion, and there is no obligation to conduct an informal recount or to apply for a judicial recount unless there is a tie vote for two or more candidates. If that happens, the chief election officer must apply for a judicial recount.

City of Vernon chief election officer Susan Blakely spoke with Gourley Wednesday, and informed him she is confident in the counting process and the accuracy of the result.

“With an automated counting process the need for a recount on anything but a tie vote should be unnecessary,” said Blakely. “The spread between the number of votes each mayoral candidate received was significant. There are costs related to conducting a recount. Due to the foregoing, I have informed him that a recount will not occur.”

Gourley ran unsuccessfully for Vernon council in 2014 but received 768 votes. He was 14th overall.

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