Vi Wozniak, election candidate for division three, has been reinstated as a candidate for the upcoming elections after appealing a decision made by the local returning officer to drop her from the official nomination list.
“I have had some downtime of not being able to campaign due to this nonsense,” said Wozniak in a statement sent by e-mail.
According to Wayne Horner, returning officer for the county, Wozniak’s nomination papers were dropped off by her husband at around 11:20 a.m. on nomination day, Sept. 20. All nomination papers must be received between 10 am and noon on that day or they are not valid.
He said that he was concerned about the fact that Wozniak was not present at the time and therefore didn’t sign the papers in front of the returning officer. He said based on the training that he has taken, he made the decision not to accept her nomination papers, adding that the Department of Municipal Affairs supported that position.
“She has every right to appeal that decision to a judge and in (the judge’s) opinion, she should not have been removed,” said Horner, confirming that she has now been added to the list of candidates and her name will appear on the ballot for the election in division three, against incumbent Cliff Martin and Wayne Tymofichuk.
According to the Alberta Government’s Municipal Affairs website, any person may file completed nomination papers on a candidate’s behalf.
The biggest issue, according to Wozniak, is that the papers were signed and accepted before noon. Later, she was asked to come in and sign the papers a second time, which she did at 12:30 p.m. so that the returning officer could witness her signature. She was contacted the next day, Sept. 21, and informed that the nomination papers were not accepted because they were late.
On Sept. 22, she initiated legal action and on Sept. 28, the case was taken to the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton at 10 a.m. Justice D.R.G. Thomas decided that Wozniak had complied with Section 27 of the Election Act and ordered that her name be placed the ballot for the 2010 election. He also decided to award her legal costs.
Wozniak said that she is now looking forward to the upcoming election. “I feel good - bring on the challenge.”