Former City Councillor and 2022 mayoral candidate, Tony Luck, filed a petition to the Supreme Court of British Columbia seeking that the City of Merritt’s 2022 local election be declared invalid in an attempt to challenge the City’s allegedly unfair and improper election processes. 

Luck filed his petition to the Supreme Court on the last day challenges to the election were accepted, November 17, which is 30 days following the declaration of official results. In his petition, Luck alleges a number of improper practices and procedures took place in the City of Merritt’s election process. The petition is filed between Luck and the City, along with Chief Elections Officer Greg Lowis. 

Lowis confirmed that the city is aware of the filing, and that while they are seeking legal counsel, they are confident in the validity of the election. Luck said he does not seek to overturn the election results in his favour, but is contesting the handling of election processes.

“After listening to many residents and voters in regards to anomalies they saw and experienced, our team decided it was important to petition the courts for a ruling about the conduct, irregularities and validity of the voting and counting process,” said a statement from Luck.

“In no way, are these proceedings about the results of the election. We will be reserving any further comment about this matter until after the courts have rendered their decision.”

Luck’s Supreme Court petition alleges a number of improper practices undertaken by election officials. Among the complaints was the improper sealing of ballot boxes, ballot numbers being recorded alongside voters’ names, a discrepancy between the number of ballots handed out and the number counted, and that the ballots weren’t bound, against best practices. Luck also alleges that not all voters were asked to sign declarations of address, adding that his scrutineer’s daughter only verbally confirmed hers despite presenting identifications without an address on it. 

The court filing also alleges a number of improper practices once voting had closed, including lax security in the council chambers. Luck said that there was no confirmation of authority to be present in the counting area, the door to which he said was left open throughout the count. Luck also said the floor by the counter’s feet was cluttered with personal items. As a result of his findings, Luck looks to have the election invalidated. The City has 21 days to respond to the proceedings started by Luck against them. 

The Herald will continue to bring you in-depth coverage of this ongoing case.