Beverley Iglesias, right, has withdrawn her legal action claiming the results of the 2018 Chase municipal election were not valid. (Rick Koch photo)

Beverley Iglesias, right, has withdrawn her legal action claiming the results of the 2018 Chase municipal election were not valid. (Rick Koch photo)

Legal claim calling Chase election invalid withdrawn

Unsuccesful mayoral candidate had previously alleged 12 people or more voted illegitimately

The legal challenge to the legitimacy of the Chase municipal election has been officially withdrawn.

However, the mayoral candidate who filed the challenge with the courts says she found the way she was excluded from communicating its withdrawal unacceptable. Yet she is satisfied as she will have a chance to provide input into future election practices.

In court documents filed on Nov. 21, Beverley Iglesias called the results of the Oct. 20 election to fill Chase’s mayor and council seats illegitimate, citing irregularities with the addresses of 12 people who voted. It also stated that hosting the elections for Thompson Nicola Regional District director, school district trustee and Chase municipal government at the same location caused confusion for voters. Iglesias was the second runner up in the mayoral race with 200 votes. Rod Crowe won the mayor’s chair with 256 votes, only 11 more than David Lepsoe, the first runner up.

Iglesias said she started the process to withdraw the claim on Wednesday, Nov. 28 following a meeting with Sean O’Flaherty, a Village of Chase employee who acted as the chief elections officer for the October municipal election.

Related:Unsuccessful mayoral candidate calls Chase election invalid

During the meeting, Iglesias said it was agreed that representatives of the village would meet with her and the committee of other Chase residents who had helped her look into the way the election was administered, before news of the claim’s withdrawal was publicized.

Instead, a news release from the village announcing Iglesias had withdrawn her legal challenge was sent to the Shuswap Market News on the afternoon of Dec. 4. The village retracted their initial release after discussing the matter with Iglesias.

Iglesias said she found the initial statement from the village unacceptable because of the way she was excluded from the process.

“I didn’t go in there just to withdraw my application, I went in there to say ‘let’s work through this. Let’s come up with something for the public, you know, the full explanation,’” she said.

A refined statement from the village distributed after Iglesias had met with village chief administrative officer Joni Heinrich on Dec. 5 states that voting in the municipal election was conducted fairly and in good faith according to all provincial legislation, bylaws and procedures. It also reminds the public that the onus is on each voter to know whether they are eligible to vote before signing the document declaring their eligibility.

“The provincial legislation allows communities to use either a voters’ list or do same-day registration. The Village of Chase happens to utilize same-day registration. Voters’ lists are generated by Elections BC, and are only as current as the last update performed by the organization,” the statement reads.

“There is no requirement for Elections BC to ensure the voters’ list is current as of 30 days prior to a municipal election. The choice to use a voters’ list or use same-day registration is a council decision by way of an election bylaw.”

Related:Chase mayor wins by 11 votes over incumbent councillor

Chase utilized same-day registration in the recent election; their 2018 election bylaw states that people may only register to vote at the time of voting.

“A lot of the things she is concerned about are things we don’t have control over. A lot of the things she is concerned about are legislated by the provincial government,” Heinrich said.

“We’re definitely interested in meeting with her and there may be some ways to improve things, but 95 per cent of what occurred is because of the ways the legislation is written.”

Iglesias said she hopes the planned dialogue between her committee and the village will address her concerns with the way the election has been administered and lead to some checks and balances that will improve the way elections are conducted going forward.

She said that an opportunity to present her concerns to the village and improve the election procedures was all she wanted from the outset.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Update: Fire at North Okanagan-Shuswap cannabis grow operation not suspcious

Ranchero-Deep Creek firefighters find two structures ablaze on property

Numbers of new COVID-19 cases for the week of Feb. 14 to 20 appear to be trending down for all local health areas in the North Okanagan-Shuswap. (BC Centre for Disease Control map)
Colours on COVID-19 map getting lighter for North Okanagan-Shuswap

Number of new weekly cases reported by BC Centre for Disease Control drop throughout region

Smoke dissipates as fire crews respond to smoke that was billowing from a residential building in the 400 block of Fourth Avenue SE in Salmon Arm about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Residents displaced following Salmon Arm apartment fire

Crews were called to the scene at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24

A chocolate banana cream pie, similar to the smaller version pictured, baked by the Shuswap Pie Company’s Tovah Shantz, fetched $5,000 in this year’s Heritage Week pie auction fundraiser for R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum. (Shuswap Pie Company photo)
Shuswap Pie Company creation fetches $5,000 for Salmon Arm attraction

Heritage Week pie auction raises $51,500 for R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press file)
Enderby man prohibited from driving after colliding into Kelowna bus stop

Vehicle was towed, 35-year-old man served 24-hour driving prohibition

A 50-year-old Lake Country man was arrested and cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl were seized from his vehicle after a concerned citizen called in the suspicious vehicle idling on the wrong side of Woodsdale Road Feb. 18, 2021. (Lake Country RCMP)
Drugs, cash seized from suspicious three-wheeled vehicle in Lake Country

Man, 50, arrested after police respond to concerned citizen’s call

Royal LePage Place, along with the adjacent Jim Lind Arena are the two ice arenas operated by the City of West Kelowna..—Image credit: contributed
$442,200 to replace aging ammonia chiller at West Kelowna arena

West Kelowna is the recipient of a provincial grant to replace the ammonia chiller

The husband wife team of Brett Turner and Olivia Fobert are the bakers and makers behind Joy Road Catering who are opening up a pop up bakeshop this May in the former Craft Kitchen. (Facebook)
Pop-up bakeshop opening in downtown Penticton

Joy Road Catering’s Bakeshop will be offering breads, pastries, lunch bowls and a marketplace

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Major renovations are planned for the Centennial Outdoor Rink in Vernon. - Photo submitted
$695K grant to get Vernon rink ready for next season

Provincial funding will go toward replacing chiller at Centennial Outdoor Rink

BC49 logo
$75K lotto ticket sold in Vernon

Check your tickets, someone is winning big through the BC/49

Most Read