Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County election candidates drop legal bid for review of voting problems

Request for judicial review claimed that some people voted in both town and county elections

Two 2017 municipal election candidates in Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County have ended their fight for a judicial review of results.

Rocky Mountain House candidate Sheila Mizera and county candidate Diana Spencer requested judicial reviews after the October municipal elections. Spencer lost by one vote to Timothy Hove, who had 148 votes, in the county’s Division Six.

Former three-term town councillor Mizera lost the mayor’s race by 50 votes to Tammy Burke, who had 747 votes.

Their claim says that electors voted in municipalities outside their place of residence and the same electors voted in both town and county elections.

The issue ended up in the courts and it was to go to Court of Queen’s Bench in November.

However, last week Town of Rocky Mountain House announced that both applicants had filed discontinuances of their court action.

“Council and staff are satisfied with this conclusion and are ready to look forward to the formal conclusion of these proceedings,” says the town in a news release.

Mizera said the legal action was not about contesting the vote count, it was about fixing irregularities in the last election. A judicial review would not have adequately addressed that.

“Really the only avenue to create awareness or change around the election process is through contesting the election and neither Diana or I wanted to contest the election. We only wanted the process to be flawless.”

Mizera said she knows that there were irregularities. “People have told me they voted more than once, voted in both town and county.

“So, the process is broken.”

Mizera said she would like municipalities to be more accountable to voters and to ensure that all of the rules are followed.

Better methods of voter identification, the creation of voter lists and providing better education about the purpose of the voter declaration would help.

The Alberta government is conducting a review of the Local Authorities Election Act and an online survey has been created.

However, Mizera doubts that the government’s review will be result in the kinds of changes she believes necessary to improve voter identification.

Town of Rocky Mountain says it spent more than $30,000 in legal costs with more bills still to come in. Council considered seeking cost recovery but its lawyer said the amount awarded would likely be minimal and not worth the further expense.

“It is our firm believe we already lost valuable time and money on the issue,” the town says. “It is more important that we focus our efforts on advancing Rocky Mountain House and making our community stronger.”

News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

You can’t always know where life will lead, says formerly homeless single mom

Red Deer woman can’t get a job because she can’t afford child care

Red Deerians arrested after truck was stolen in Rimbey

Both will appear in Red Deer court on May 24

RCMP investigate incident in Innisfail

RCMP are still investigating a serious incident that happened at a downtown… Continue reading

Disappearance of woman, toddler treated as potential homicides: Calgary police

Calgary police say they are treating the disappearance of a woman and… Continue reading

Several Red Deer businesses’ phone/fax lines taken over by ‘spoofers’

Same ‘prank’ calls were made as happened with RedCliff RCMP

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps voice concerns about MLS travel woes

VANCOUVER — Concerns are being raised about how Major League Soccer handles… Continue reading

Canada looks to defend para-hockey title at world championship in Czech Republic

Canada forward Dominic Cozzolino keeps his 2018 Paralympic silver medal tucked away… Continue reading

John Singleton of ‘Boys N the Hood’ in coma after stroke

LOS ANGELES — “Boyz N the Hood” director John Singleton is in… Continue reading

400-year-old Bible stolen from US is found in Netherlands

PITTSBURGH — A 400-year-old Bible stolen from a Pittsburgh library has been… Continue reading

Opinion: Schools can’t be exempt from scrutiny

This weekend’s meeting of the Alberta School Councils’ Association promises to be… Continue reading

Local Sports: Clayton Pottinger reaching for new heights

There are times in anyone’s life when they make a decision that… Continue reading

Seniors: Smarter living for older adults

One of the major life transitions characteristic of aging is leaving one’s… Continue reading

Most Read