LAKELAND - It came down to just one vote, but more than a week after the polls closed, followed by an appeal process and a recount taking place, Scott Cyr will be the next United Conservative Party (UCP) candidate for the Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul constituency.
After three days of voting by UCP members in the region from Dec. 10 to 12, the vote remained close and the provincial association chose to do a recount of the ballots on Dec. 22, after one of the contestants appealed the results of the Nomination Contest Election.
"The UCP board, exercising its jurisdiction under the rules, instructed the executive director or his designate to supervise a recount of the ballots cast and report the results of that recount back to the board," according to information from the UCP. The "certified results "of the first ballot were Cyr with 252 votes, current MLA David Hanson with 289 votes, and former MD of Bonnyville reeve Greg Sawchuk with 186 votes.
The number of votes to secure a majority was 364. Since no one received a majority, Sawchuk was eliminated and his ballots were redistributed, according to their second preference.
The certified results of the second ballot are 314 votes for Cyr, and 313 votes for Hanson.
"Scott Cyr is the winner of the nomination contest election and will be the UCP candidate in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul," according to the UCP.
Speaking on Friday afternoon, Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul UCP Association president Ron Young said he was "shocked" that the results came down to just one vote.
He acknowledged it had been a long process and elaborated on the recount. Young noted that the board looked through the disputed ballots, assigning two to Hanson and one to Cyr - which was just enough for Cyr break the tie and secure the win.
"This is it. It's done," said Young. When asked if there was any message he would like to get out to UCP members in the region, he noted that the biggest lesson for everyone should be that "Every vote counts."
The local UCP association will now be holding an Annual General Meeting sometime in late January, says Young. He is hopeful that some of the people who have expressed opinions in the past few months will step up to get involved in local politics, especially some younger people.
"It's time to get some young blood on (the board)," said Young.
The next provincial election is set for spring of 2023.