Ontario Superior Court Throws Out Etobicoke Centre Election Results
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Ontario Superior Court Throws Out Etobicoke Centre Election Results

In the last federal election the incumbent, Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Liberal) lost to Conservative challenger Ted Opitz by 26 votes. A judge today declared that election invalid.

If this case can be summarized, in a single observation, it would be that it cannot be enough to accept that individuals who voted were qualified to do so by registration, in the absence of registration certificates, in the absence of the poll books recording anyone who registered by vouching and in the absence of the names from the final list of electors. Our system requires more.

With those words, Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas Lederer set aside the result of the federal election in the riding of Etobicoke Centre, where former Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj lost to Conservative Ted Opitz by 26 votes. Lederer wrote that there was “no suggestion of wrongdoing” on the part of either candidate. There were, however, voting irregularities in the form of improper or insufficient documentation of the identity of some citizens who cast ballots in that riding. Given how close the race was, those irregularities—the judge deemed 79 ballots improper, though Wrzesnewskyj had appealed a larger number—outweighed the margin of victory, and were therefore sufficient to cause the judge to declare the election results null and void. The CBC reports that Opitz has eight days to file an appeal; if he does, the case will go directly to the Supreme Court.

CORRECTION: May 18, 2012, 3:36 PM This article originally contained inconsistent numbers about the voting differential, but the information has now been corrected.

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