UPDATE – Sahtu resolved, recounts coming in three NWT ridings

UPDATE – Sahtu resolved, recounts coming in three NWT ridings

The results in four Northwest Territories ridings on Nov. 23 were close enough to warrant a judicial recount.

The difference between the winner and his or her challenger was less than two per cent of total votes cast in Nunakput, Range Lake and Yellowknife North, the threshold established by the NWT Elections and Plebiscites Act.

In Nunakput, the Speaker of the House in the 17th Assembly, Jackie Jacobson lost his seat by just four votes. Voter turnout in the NWT’s northernmost riding led the territory at 74.47 per cent.

Daniel Mark McNeely had a tense day as Sahtu was initially tapped for a judicial recall, but an “official addition” revealed his victory over Yvonne Doolittle had grown from 12 to 29 votes, representing a three-per-cent spread. Elections NWT made the announcement Wednesday.

Caroline Cochrane’s 10-vote win over Range Lake incumbent Daryl Dolynny will be rehashed and the battle of the Yellowknife city councillors will rage on until the 16-vote difference between unofficial winner Cory Vanthuyne and Dan Wong is either verified or cast out.

Overall, voter turnout set a new low for territorial elections on Nov. 23, with just 43.59 per cent of eligible voters opting to do so, compared to the slightly more than 48 per cent who did in 2011.

Voters stayed home in Yellowknife. Turnout was as anemic as 25 per cent in Kam Lake where Kieron Testart unseated industry and transportation Minister David Ramsay and Yellowknife South, where Premier Bob McLeod retained his seat after most of the 33 per cent of eligible voters who turned out checked off his name on the ballot. Voter turnout was 31.55 per cent in Range Lake and 44 per cent in Yellowknife North.

A judge will recount the ballots in each riding within the next 10 days. No candidate is considered elected until the count has been verified.

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