Elliot Lake council has endorsed a recount policy to deal with any close vote results in the upcoming Oct. 22 municipal election.
In a report to council from director of clerks and planning services Leslie Sprague the new policy was recommended to council at its meeting Monday evening. The policy would become part of regulations already governing municipal election voting in a municipality.
“Elections that are conducted freely and fairly and that ensure the certainty of the votes cast are a key feature of a well-functioning democracy,” Sprague said in her report. “Where accuracy of the results are called into question, a recount can be conducted to instill confidence that the results are a true reflection of the votes cast by the electorate. The implementation of a recount policy provides council with an arms-length framework that addresses close vote situations, while avoiding the perception of bias.”
The policy would allow a recount when the discrepancy between two candidates either for a council position or the mayor’s position is 10 votes or less.
The recount would be held within 15 days after, “the clerk’s declaration of the result of the election.” The recount would be conducted in the same way as the original vote count in the election was done.
If a tie vote remains after the recount, “the clerk shall choose the successful candidate or candidates by lot.”
Sprague estimated a recount would cost about $2,000 which would include any additional staff time.
Council voted in favour of the recount policy.