Cambridge, Ont. overturns Catholic school trustee election after voting error

The clerk in Cambridge, Ont., halted voting for Catholic school board trustees in Monday’s municipal election after two candidates were dropped from the ballot.

Clerk Danielle Manton declared an emergency under Section 53 of the Municipal Elections Act on Saturday, « which will void the results of Monday’s English school board election. »

Manton said so far 1,700 ballots have been cast in the city for Catholic school board trustees. The other parts of those ballots, for municipal and regional positions, will still be counted on Monday.

Manton did not specify which two candidates were unsuccessful.

A new election for Catholic school trustees will take place in November. The exact date has not yet been determined.

Manton said in a news release that the names of the two candidates were omitted during the vetting phase with the vendor who drafted the ballots for the city.

Manton said declaring an emergency was « the only course of action ».

« The decision, made in consultation with legal counsel, will ensure integrity is maintained for the English Separate School Board election, » Manton said.

North Dumfries ballot papers will be sealed

Six candidates are running for the office of trustee of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board to represent the City of Cambridge and the Township of North Dumfries, Ontario.

The candidates are:

  • Winston Francois.
  • David Guerin.
  • Jesse Keel.
  • Michael John Rattée.
  • Marisa Phillips.
  • Robert Sikora.

The state of emergency declared by Manton concerns only Cambridge. The ballots in North Dumfries Township included all six certified candidates.

After Monday’s election, North Dumfries Township ballots will be sealed and sent to the Manton office where they will be held until Cambridge voters cast their ballots next month. Then all the results will be published at the same time.

Candidates react

In a statement, Phillips said the news of the ballots « made my heart sink. »

« I’m shocked that just two days before the election, after thousands of votes had already been cast, the city finally noticed missing administrator candidates on the ballots, » Phillips said.

« I understand that mistakes can be made and they should be forgiven. However, I can’t deny that this process has been both frustrating and unsettling. »

Jayne Herring, incumbent candidate in Cambridge for the Waterloo Region District School Board, tweeted that people should be reminded that the election for public school board trustees was still ongoing.


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