Windsor Election Challenged In Superior Court

Header-image-Shalapata-2By Ian Shalapata

(WINDSOR, ON) – A second group has launched a court challenge of the 2014 Windsor municipal election official results. Yesterday afternoon, Gene Locknick served Windsor City Clerk Valerie Critchley with the court filing at City Hall.

Windsor citizen and applicant Gene Locknick (right) served Notice of Application to Divisional Court for Judicial Review to the City of Windsor Clerk Valerie Critchley. The applicant makes application for an order for a manual recount as provided by Municipal Elections Act s.58(1) s. 60(3).Contributed image.

Windsor citizen and applicant Gene Locknick (right) served Notice of Application to Divisional Court for Judicial Review to the City of Windsor Clerk Valerie Critchley. The applicant makes application for an order for a manual recount as provided by Municipal Elections Act s.58(1) s. 60(3).
Contributed image.

The group of four candidates in the election are requesting the Superior Court order a manual recount of the election, by-passing the Municipal Elections Act stipulation of using the same method to count ballots as was employed on election day. At the heart of the group’s complaint is the issue of the City of Windsor having used the DS200 vote tabulators in the first place.

“The main point was the illegal use of optical scanning vote tabulators in the 2014 Municipal Election,” the group said in a media release. ”Both Mayor Eddie Francis and Mayor Drew Dilkens, in being lawyers, contravened the Ontario Municipal Elections Act in not passing the required by-law to authorize the legal use of optical scanning vote tabulators on or before June 1, in the year of the October 27, 2014 Municipal Election.”

While Francis has not addressed the suit publically, Dilkens has spoken to various local media. He was quoted as saying that he is frustrated by the complaints surrounding the election.

““I have not heard what the allegations are,” Dilkens said. “That’s the frustrating part here. You have a suspicion who you’re dealing with but you can’t quite place your finger on it? And you don’t really know what the allegations are that you’re trying to defend against or the questions you’re trying to answer.”

However, the group of four candidates sent an email to Windsor Council, including Dilkens, on March 23 of this year, outlining their issue with the vote tabulators and the apparent ease by which they can be manipulated.

A previous challenge to the election has resulted in a Superior Court justice allowing the Windsor Police to seize all election materials from the City. Due to the on-going investigation, Dilkens doesn’t see the need for the court action.

“What I would do before I filed an application in court is understand what the police have done because that may have already been done as part of the process,” Dilkens told CKLW. “They had control of the ballots and had permission from the court to open the ballot boxes.”

However, the complainants who initiated the police investigation term Dilkens’ comments as political interference in what should be an independent investigation.

“The mayor is speaking out of order, out of turn, and without the full facts,” they told The Square. “His comments are somewhat odd and concerning. Considering if nothing was wrong, his answers should have been quite benign. His fore-knowledge of what the police may or may not have done speaks volumes to an apparent or real conflict of interest that resides in this investigation.”

To highlight Dilkens’ weak position, he suggests that the deadline for filing a court challenge has already passed.

Application for order for recount

58.  (1)  A person who is entitled to vote in an election and has reasonable grounds for believing the election results to be in doubt may apply to the Superior Court of Justice for an order that the clerk hold a recount. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 58 (1); 2002, c. 17, Sched. D, s. 22 (1).

Time for application

(2)  The application shall be commenced within 30 days after the clerk’s declaration of the results of the election. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 58 (2).

Order, notice

(3)  If satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for it, the court shall make an order requiring the clerk to hold a recount of the votes cast for all or specified candidates, on a by-law, or for all or specified answers to a question, and shall give the clerk a copy of the order as soon as possible. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 58 (3).

Time for recount

(4)  The recount shall be held within 15 days after the day the clerk receives a copy of the order. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 58 (4); 2002, c. 17, Sched. D, s. 22 (2).

Problems re voting and vote-counting equipment

(6)  A request for a recount due to problems related to voting and vote-counting equipment may be made only under this section. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 58 (6).

The candidates filed the request with the Superior Court on November 26, 2014, two days within the allotted timeframe.

Stock up on stamps at Canada Post with Stamp Coils! Get your stamps today - Click here!

About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between. His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States. Contact Ian with story ideas.

1 Comment on "Windsor Election Challenged In Superior Court"

  1. Now isn’t it ironic that the past mayor was a lawyer and the present mayor is a lawyer and neither one checked to make sure that the vote counting was being done with accordance to the law. I think Windsor needs a full investigation on all transactions that have been made in the past as well. We need the Ontario Auditor General to come to Windsor and audit the city’s finances for the last five years. There isn’t and there hasn’t been any transparency since the time King Eddie was elected mayor, that’s why we need help from the Ontario Auditor General.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: