Liberal candidate who lost by 9 votes requests recount

But things could change radically when Elections BC opens the estimated 170,000 absentee ballots, should Milligan's lower-probability predictions come to pass.

"We've got about 1,500 votes to be counted and determine who they belong too and that will determine the winners", says Benninger, who has been told that's the approximate number of absentee ballots still to be counted in the riding.

(B.C. NDP and B.C. Liberals) With the Liberals now set to take 43 of the 44 seats required for a majority government, a turnaround in Courtenay-Comox would have major consequences.

"If you cast your ballot say in Prince George but you reside in Victoria of your ballot will be sent after the initial countdown to your riding of residence to be counted there during the final count so that's where the time period between the initial count and final count comes into play".

The close race in the Courtenay-Comox riding on Vancouver Island may be the deciding factor in the 2017 provincial election.

Historically, the delayed counting of absentee ballots has meant only minor changes in final results. This allows enough time for certification envelopes containing ballots to be sent from the district where they were cast to the district where voters are registered, explained Andrew Watson, a spokesman for Elections BC. In 2013, absentee votes were nearly exactly equal: 898 for the Liberals and 895 for the NDP. The NDP get more of a boost from the absentee ballots than the Liberals do. In 2013, there were 3,505 absentee ballots in this riding. But that was based on preliminary results that turned out to be incorrect.

Milligan analyzed the absentee vote in these tight ridings from 2013, then plugged the numbers into a simulation that he ran one million times.

The request for a recount was filed on the basis that the top two candidates were separated by fewer than 100 votes.

However, Benninger estimates that about 40 to 60 members are now deployed and of those, probably only five to 10 voted.

  • Leroy Wright