The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has upheld the results of a vote during last October’s municipal election in Pictou County Council’s District 9. It was a tight result, with Peter Boyles winning by just one vote over second place finisher James Davidson.
At issue in this case was a ballot box that was temporarily removed from the polling station during regular voting hours. A local resident came to the polling station and asked whether the ballot box could be taken to an older couple who were unable to come and vote. The couple lived a short distance away from the polling station. The ballot box was removed from the polling station for about 10 minutes by a polling clerk and deputy returning officer, long enough for the couple to vote and insert their completed ballots in the ballot box.
In a written decision, Supreme Court Justice Nick Scaravelli noted that while removing the ballot box violated a section of the Municipal Elections Act, it remained within the care and control of polling officials. He added the action did not result in a substantial breach of the act.