Elections BC accepts two of six requests for recount

All eyes are on the final count in 10 days, when 176,000 absentee ballots will be tallied

UPDATE: Elections BC has accepted two of the six requested recounts from B.C.’s political parties.

On Friday, the NDP requested recounts in three close ridings. All three were rejected.

In Courtenay-Comox, the recount request by Liberal Jim Benniger was accepted because the difference between the top two candidates is nine votes, Elections BC said in a press release.

In Vancouver-False Creek, BC Citizens First Phillip James Ryan’s request for a recount was accepted because an advance voting ballot account records 403 votes for one candidate, and the tally sheet and parcel envelope containing ballots for that candidate lists 399. NDP Morgane Oger also requested a recount, but did not meet Elections Act requirements by deadline.

On Friday, the New Democrats submitted a formal request to Elections BC for recounts in the ridings of Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, Vancouver-False Creek and Richmond-Queensborough.

After general and advance ballots were counted Tuesday, the Liberals were ahead by 170 votes in Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, 560 votes in Vancouver-False Creek and 263 votes in Richmond-Queensborough.

Elections BC has since updated the totals for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, widening the lead for Liberal Joan Isaacs by 268 votes.

On Thursday, Benninger requested a recount in Courtenay-Comox, where he lost by nine votes, and it will take place during the final count between May 22 and 24.

Liberal Marc Dalton had also requested a recount in Maple Ridge-Mission. Dalton, who served the past eight years as MLA in the riding, lost by 120 votes to the NDP’s Bob D’Eith.

Christy Clark’s Liberals are one seat shy of a majority government with 43 seats, while John Horgan’s New Democrats have 41 and Andrew Weaver’s Greens hold the balance of power with three.

All eyes are on the final count in 10 days, when 176,000 absentee ballots will be tallied.

On Friday, NDP provincial director Raj Sihota said in a statement the party is working hard to ensure every last vote is counted properly.

“In an election this close, British Columbians deserve to have full confidence in the results, and that means ensuring the ballots in close races are counted thoroughly and carefully.”

With files from The Canadian Press