Frame Lake’s O’Reilly and YK North’s Johnson survive recounts
Kevin O’Reilly and Rylund Johnson retained their seats in the new legislature after judicial recounts were completed on Wednesday.
Mandatory recounts in Yellowknife North and Frame Lake were triggered when the districts were won by margins smaller than two percent of all votes cast.
O’Reilly, declared the unofficial winner in Frame Lake by 11 votes last week, remained 11 votes ahead of former industry minister Dave Ramsay after the recount, Elections NWT tweeted early on Wednesday afternoon.
Later on Wednesday, Johnson was confirmed to have won Yellowknife North by a six-vote margin over incumbent Cory Vanthuyne.
Johnson won by 503 votes to 497, the recount showed, an increase of one to the five-vote unofficial margin published last week.
“I was dreading the possibility of this being overturned … but I had faith in the process the whole time,” Johnson told Cabin Radio.
“Every vote counts, and I thank everyone who voted in this election.
“It’s been tough. I’ve been excited to get to work but there was always this asterisk on it. I’m excited to have that behind me now, and I can get to work.”
Under NWT law, mandatory recounts are overseen by a judge, meaning the process had to wait a week for a judge to be available.
Ramsay publicly cast doubt on the accuracy of Frame Lake’s result in the past week, alluding to some half-dozen “missing” ballots and questioning how online voting – introduced for the first time in this election – can be appropriately scrutinized, given it does not generate any physical equivalent of a ballot to recount.
“I recognize that not everyone voted for me and even more residents were not inclined to vote. I will still work very hard to represent their interests,” O’Reilly said in the legislature on Wednesday afternoon.
In Yellowknife North, this was Vanthuyne’s second successive recount. In 2015, he won the district after a recount left his 16-vote, one-percent margin of victory over Dan Wong unchanged.
Sarah Pruys contributed reporting.