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Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis wins recount

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Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis will hang onto his seat following a recount of the October mayoral election.

Recounts are normally held within 30 days of an election, as per the Municipal Election Act. But when a motion calling for a recount was brought forward at Brantford city council in November, it failed in a tie 5-5 vote.

The city agreed to the recount earlier this year after candidate Dave Wrobel – who finished just 208 votes behind Davis according to the official count in October – filed a court challenge.

In a statement issued last month the city said “in order to avoid a lengthy and expensive tax-funded legal process” it would hold a recount.

RUNNER-UP 'VERY HAPPY' WITH RESULTS

The City of Brantford said the count began at 9 a.m. Saturday with five recount tables set up in council chambers and two staff members at each manually recounting ballots.

Just before 2 p.m. the City announced the results in a media release.

According to the recount, 9,223 votes were cast for Davis and 9,013 votes for Wrobel – a difference of 210 votes.

“I’m very happy with the overall results and I say this because democracy and votes are very important to me,” Wrobel said.

“I guess the best way to explain this is every vote is like democratic currency and when things don't add up, you want those cheques and balances no different than you have your bank account.”

Wrobel said he will run again, adding it’s unfinished business for him.

FRUSTRATED WITH COMMUNICATION

Wrobel said he was told by officials 274 votes were “unaccounted for” after election night.

Given he lost by 208 votes, “you do the math and you go, you know, there’s a pretty good probability that things could change so let’s make the request,” he said.

Wrobel said his push for a recount was based on what he felt was a lack of transparency.

“That’s what we premised the whole argument on,” he said, referring to his lawyer and the “unaccounted for” votes.

On Saturday he got his answer.

He said during the recount, city staff explained that the 274 “unaccounted for” votes were ballots where a selection for mayor had not been marked correctly.

He said “ultimately if there was a good sense of transparency at the beginning, back at the end of the election in 2022,” the recount process may not have been necessary.

“[I’m] absolutely frustrated that they could have talked about this months ago and we would have had a better sense on where the numbers were without having to go through the recount process,” he said.

“Let’s be accountable, let’s be transparent with our democratic process.”

Staff from the City of Brantford were unavailable for comment Saturday.

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