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Mayoral Candidate Gord James.

Breaking: Gord James says handling of election process ‘doesn’t pass the smell test’

in Around Town/Community/Local News by

The campaign team of mayoral candidate Gord James has written a letter to the City Clerk requesting to see the original election data from Dominion Voting for the City of Kawartha Lakes municipal election results.

The team has also asked for an official response as to why the results were tabulated/received by City election staff without the candidates’ scrutineers present.

James came second to Andy Letham in the municipal election held earlier this week.

At the City’s official announcement of the delayed results (held in the Victoria Room at City Hall on Tuesday evening, one day later than it was supposed to be because of issues with Dominion Voting) members of the media, candidates and their scrutineers were allowed in the room early.

Shortly after 8 p.m., the media was asked to exit the room, leaving just the candidates, their scrutineers and City staff. Once the public voting locations were declared closed (for in-person voting the election is closed after the last person who got there on time has finished voting) City staff left the Victoria Room, received the results behind closed doors without any scrutineers present, and came back to the Victoria room to announce the results to the candidates, scrutineers and media.

In an interview with The Lindsay Advocate, James asked, “Why do we even have scrutineers then?”

“This doesn’t pass the smell test,” he continued.

The James campaign team is meeting tonight to further discuss the issue. James, who spent the day collecting his election signs, was unaware of any response from the City to his campaign’s questions to the City today.

“Candidates have a responsibility to protect democracy too,” declared James.

The Lindsay Advocate asked Peter Weygang and Brain Junkin to see if their campaigns had a similar complaint, but they were unavailable for comment at publishing time.

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A graduate of the University of Toronto, Trevor Hutchinson is a songwriter, writer and bookkeeper. He serves as Contributing Editor at The Lindsay Advocate. He lives with his fiancee and their five kids in Glenarm, Kawartha Lakes.

2 Comments

  1. It is a little unusual for scrutineers to not be included in the count. Had I been among them, I would have wanted to witness the count, if for no other reason than to learn how one scrutinizes digital ballots. But of course, transparency matters, and as the mayor elect always says he has nothing to hide, I am sure he will have no problem providing the James team with the data they have requested.

    Local democracy is the most direct of all democracies in Canada and it behooves us all to do our utmost to promote it.

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