Human error is responsible for an incorrect municipal election result in the City of Armstrong.
Preliminary results released Saturday showed Helen Jackson had received the sixth and final councillor’s seat after Saturday’s ballot with a total of 425 votes, 22 more than the seventh-place finisher, Lance McGregor.
But a double check of the results Monday morning showed McGregor actually had 473 votes, meaning he finished fifth, earning a councillor’s seat. Linda Werner was sixth to get the final spot.
Jackson’s results were unchanged.
Votes in Armstrong are counted by hand.
“The error does not have to do with the counting of the votes by the poll clerks,” said chief election officer Natalie Garbay in a press release issued Monday.
Garbay said it was her mistake.
“The error was made by the chief election officer when the subtotals were added up,” she said.
“I have re-checked the subtotals for all candidates and the only change was to the final total for candidate Lance McGregor.”
The votes were hand-counted in tandem and results verified every 50 ballots.
Both candidates have been informed of the mistake.
“It’s too bad but what can you do?” said a gracious Jackson Monday.
“It’s disappointing. I was looking forward to working on council for the next four years. I think it’s harder to lose this way than if I’d originally lost the count.
“Still, I wish Lance all of the best.”
McGregor felt sorry for Jackson.
“I’m happy I got in but I feel bad for Helen,” said McGregor.
As of Monday morning, nobody had asked for a recount of the votes, including Jackson.
“I’ve been assured the totals are correct so I don’t really see the point,” said Jackson.
Incumbents Shirley Fowler, Paul Britton and Ron (Sully) O’Sullivan placed first, second and fourth. respectively, in the balloting to retain their seats.
They will be joined on council by newcomers Steven Drapala (third in voting), McGregor (fifth) and Linda Werner (sixth).
“I assure that the counting of the votes is valid in that it was only an error in sub-totalling that changed the outcome,” said Garbay.
The preliminary results include:
1: Shirley Fowler 713 votes;
2: Paul Britton 679;
3: Steven Drapala 591;
4: Ron O’Sullivan 541;
5: Lance McGregor 473;
6: Linda Werner 450;
7: Helen Jackson 425;
8: Kerry Bennington 346;
9: Dave McKechnie 336;
10: Gil Melin 324;
11: Robert Thibeau 204.