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Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each
NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)

An official recount has taken place for the Vuntut Giwtchin riding and found that the vote is unchanged.

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each. There were no rejected ballots.

Elections Yukon filed an application to the Yukon Supreme Court on April 15, following the recount. The Elections Act requires a judicial recount to be held within four days of the application, meaning it should be completed by April 19 at the latest.

The next recount will be held in Whitehorse.

If that judicial recount returns the same results, the decision will move on to drawing lots for the winner of the riding.

The results will affect the balance of seats in the legislature. Right now the Yukon Party has eight MLAs, the Liberals have eight and the NDP has two. The Vuntut Gwitchin seat could go to the Liberals or NDP, depending on who ends up winning.

Win or lose, Sandy Silver will remain premier if he can secure support for his minority government, but it is likely the NDP will hold decision-making power because the Liberals won’t have enough votes on their own to pass legislation.

Races in the northern riding are notoriously tight. In 2016, Frost won the vote by only seven votes over the incumbent Yukon Party candidate Darius Elias.

A tie vote is also not unheard of in the riding. In 1996 the results were tied at 69 votes each for Esau Schafer and Robert Bruce. Bruce won the riding when his name was pulled from a hat. A Supreme Court order in 1997 overturned the results. Bruce won the ensuing by-election by the majority of votes.

Contact Haley Ritchie at