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Published on Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Burton seeks election recount

By Melissa Leong, Hamilton Spectator

After losing to Oakville mayoral incumbent Ann Mulvale by 12 votes in Monday's election, challenger Rob Burton met with lawyers to call for a recount, citing irregularities at the polls.

"I owe it to my supporters when it's so close," he said yesterday. "We think it's the only responsible thing to do."

Burton's voters wanted to blame someone for the town's extensive development and sprawl, and the lack of timely delivery of services, Mulvale said


Burton said he had heard several stories from his scrutineers about irregularities, such as broken tabulation machines, but his lawyers have asked him not to go into further detail.

On election night, Burton said in an interview he had heard about a broken machine at one poll and someone putting a ballot for Mulvale through a machine four times.

Town clerk and returning officer Cathie Best said a a few of the machines, similar to those used by Toronto, were jammed in the morning, but they were fixed immediately. She said she had not heard of people having to fee the same ballot into one machine several times.

Candidates have 15 days after results are announced to apply to the Superior Court of Justice for a recount, she said.

Separate from the court process, within 30 days council can pass a resolution for a recount or a voter can apply to the Superior Court. The town will automatically recount votes in the event of a tie, Best said.

She said the town is waiting until tomorrow before declaring the tally as official.

"(The numbers) look fine, but it's not official until the declaration is made," she said. "It's just a matter of going through some paperwork."

Burton called the 15,716 votess he received an "eloquent request for change."

"It was a tremendous message ... that a huge part of Oakville is unhappy with the course that the town has been on for the last 15 years," he said. "I just hope it will be heard."

Mulvale continued her mayoral duties yesterday, meeting with the town manager and halton Region officials. She said Burton has every right to ask for a recount.

"We're very respectful of the process," she said.

Burton's voters wanted to blame someone for the town's extensive development and sprawl, and the lack of timely delivery of services, she said.
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Categories: Features, News

Tags: election

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