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Lower Kootenay Band election invalid, appellants say

Last November’s Lower Kootenay Band election for chief and council is facing two appeals.

One of the appellants, Rob Louie, says that although he’s fine with the election results, it’s the process he’s taken issue with.

“The problem was the process, and if the process isn’t corrected, what is going to happen is there’s going to be a precedent set in that it will allow an electoral officer to change the rules as to how we vote.”

The main issue is that with this election, telephone voting was permitted despite the election code prohibiting it, Louie says.

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“We had 46 unlawful votes that took place in this election. That will be invalidated and that casts the entire election into doubt.”

He adds that the election results were close enough that those 46 alleged invalid votes could’ve changed the results.

Councillor elect Robin Louie was behind by ten votes.

“I am mindful that elections cost money. However, I don’t know who came up with the brilliant idea, and I’m sarcastic in that respect, to use telephone voting when telephone voting was not permissible.”

The appeals will be considered by an arbitrator, and if they are accepted, Louie believes that justifies a redo.

LKB Chief Jason Louie, who is Rob’s brother, says they are waiting to see what the arbitrator decides before making any decisions.

“The arbitrator will render a decision in March. I cannot speculate what the outcome of that decision will be. Until that time, the leadership of the Lower Kootenay Band has business to tend to and will assume our duties.”

The results of the appeals will be released soon.

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