Last Monday’s territorial election in Yukon still isn’t over.
“Official addition,” took place Thursday and Monday’s unofficial results were certified.
With 10 seats needed to form a majority government in the 19-seat legislature, the Liberal Party and the Yukon Party still had eight seats each and the apparent balance-of-power-bound New Democratic Party still has two.
And one seat remained undecided–in the territory’s northernmost and least-populated riding of Vuntut Gwitchin, or Old Crow.
That’s where incumbent Liberal candidate Pauline Frost and NDP candidate Annie Blake finished in a dead heat with 78 votes apiece on Monday.
Because no ballots were rejected in Vuntut Gwitchin in Thursday’s confirmation process, both candidates still had 78 votes each after certification.
That means the process now moves to Yukon’s Supreme Court, which will decide when to hold a judicial recount.
It will be soon.
“That decision is up to the judge of the Supreme Court, and the statutory direction is that it be done within four days of the application, so based on that it would be sometime … no later than Monday,” Maxwell Harvey, Yukon’s chief electoral officer, told CBC News.
If there’s still a tie after the judicial ballot recount, Harvey said, there will be an immediate drawing of lots to determine the winner.
He could not say exactly how the draw would be conducted, what kind of receptacle might be used, and if it’s a hat, whose hat.
“That’s a great question,” he told CBC News.
“I’m doing some research on some of the past precedents on that. Obviously it has to be fair and compliant and that’s something I’ll be discussing with the returning officer, and the returning officer will probably discuss that with the judge as well. So more to follow on that.”
So, a quick recap of what’s at stake in Vuntut Gwitchin:
Winning one more seat would give the Liberals the most seats in the territorial assembly with nine–one short of a majority–and leave the NDP where it was before the election, at two seats–but holding the balance of power.
On the other hand, if the NDP picks up Vuntut Gwitchin, the Liberals and Yukon Party remain tied in the seat count at eight.
If that happens, the Liberals, as the incumbents, would likely get first crack at forming a government.
What was it someone once said about all politics being local?
With files from CBC News, The Canadian Press,