Beverley Iglesias, right, has filed documents with the BC Supreme Court in Kamloops claiming the results of the 2018 Chase municipal election are not valid. (Rick Koch photo)

Unsuccessful mayoral candidate calls Chase election invalid

Beverley Iglesias files court documents stating ineligible voters cast ballots

The third-place candidate in the recent Chase mayoral election has filed a petition to the court declaring the results of the election invalid.

In a Notice of Civil Claim filed with the BC Supreme Court in Kamloops on Nov. 21, Beverley Ann Fernande Iglesias claims there are irregularities with the addresses of 12 people who voted in the Chase mayoral election and 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 is petitioning the court to declare the election invalid and so force another election for Chase’s mayor and council.

The notice of claim names the Village of Chase and Sean O’Flaherty, a village employee, who acted as chief election officer as defendants for the election on Oct. 20.

Twelve voters who cast a ballot deciding Chase’s mayor and council are named in the notice of claim as ineligible to cast a ballot.

Related: Chase mayor wins by 11 votes over incumbent

The document filed with the court states seven people who voted did so after registering with addresses outside the village boundaries. According to the notice of claim, a further four voters listed their addresses as businesses or commercial buildings.

“At least four individuals who voted in the municipal election were ineligible, as their residential addresses declared were Chase businesses or commercial/industrial buildings. Applications by the landowner to the Village of Chase for residential suites were not apparent,” the document reads.

The document also says one voter’s residential address could not be substantiated.

The validity of the 12 ballots mentioned in the document are especially important as the mayoral race was decided by only 11 votes. Rod Crowe won the election with 256 votes; he was followed by David Lepsoe with 245 votes. Iglesias was 56 votes behind Crowe.

Along with the alleged ineligible votes, Iglesias’ court filing also claims that campaign signs in favour of Crowe were placed on a residential property on Adams Lake Indian Band land and also beside the roadway over the bridge leading from Chase to the Adams Lake Indian Band reserve.

Related: Chase and District Chamber of Commerce holds all-candidates’ meeting

“Such ‘Vote for Mayor’ sign(s) could have misled reserve residents to believe they were eligible to vote in the Village of Chase municipal election,” the document reads.

According to the notice of claim, a petition in support of Iglesias’ application to the court is being circulated in Chase.

Iglesias told the Shuswap Market News she submitted the civil claim to the court because she is concerned with the fairness and legality of the election – she added there is a large group of people in Chase who share her concerns and they are helping circulate her petition. She hopes her legal action will lead to an examination of the election processes to see how the allegedly ineligible voters were able to cast a ballot.

Iglesias said she believes there are more ineligible voters who cast a ballot than the 12 named in her court filing.

On Nov. 21 O’Flaherty said the village has not been served court documents yet and so has not begun trying to verify or disprove the claims made in the document.

He added that the election was conducted in good faith and within the confines of the Local Government Act.

O’Flaherty stressed that voters sign a declaration stating they reside in the Village of Chase amongst other qualifications and that the onus is on them to know whether they are eligible to vote.


@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

Flooding water at West Kelowna Tim Hortons closes lane on Highway 97

This story has been updated with more accurate information. Water flooding from… Continue reading

Chinese New Year brings subdued celebrations in Salmon Arm

Local family to mark the start of the New Year but will be missing family in China

Habitat for Humanity helps Sepwepemc families build houses near Chase

Homes intended for current families and generations to come

Shuswap residents urged to ensure their yard isn’t what spreads a wildfire

Watching out for the Douglas-fir bark beetle is recommended when fire-proofing

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Campfires no longer permitted at Kelowna scout camp

City of Kelowna said they rejected Camp Dunlop’s fire permit due to stricter bylaws

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Dirt Road Opera to serenade audience with upcoming Sorrento show

Cod Gone Wild fiddler Susan Aylard hosts January concert at Maples Waterfront Resort

Okanagan team leads animal rescue efforts in Australia

Brad Pattison’s team arrived in Sydney on Monday

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Salmon Arm history in pictures: Farm fire

Museum asks for help to identify when and where photo was taken

Most Read