Byelection for chief ordered on George Gordon First Nation after ballots unaccounted for

Byelection for chief ordered on George Gordon First Nation after ballots unaccounted for

A byelection for the position of chief has been ordered on the George Gordon First Nation after a close race in the Saskatchewan band's 2016 election.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal made the decision on Friday, more than a year after the election took place.

The decision was based on ballots that were cast but unaccounted for, 17 of which were for chief and 14 for council positions.

The band's election was conducted under the First Nations Election Act, which contains framework similar to the Canada Election Act allowing for an election result to be set aside if there are irregularities in the voting process.

Three candidates — Bryan McNabb Jr., John McNab and Shawn Longman — were running for the position of chief. McNabb Jr. ultimately won the election with 376 votes. McNab had 368 and Longman 333.

The missing ballots could have tilted the election in McNab's favour.

The court also considered the band's eight council positions in its ruling.

However, the court ruled the number of ballots unaccounted for could not possibly change the outcome of that election, as there was an 18-vote difference between the eighth and ninth place candidates.

No date has been set for the byelection.