Leader of Newfoundland and Labrador NDP files for recount after 53-vote election loss

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The leader of Newfoundland and Labrador's NDP has requested a recount in her district after losing her seat in Saturday's election by 53 votes.

Alison Coffin tweeted pictures of herself today filing recount paperwork at the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John's.

Coffin lost her seat to Liberal John Abbott in the St. John's East-Quidi Vidi district, which has long been an NDP stronghold.

The NDP on March 12 sent a letter to chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk expressing concerns from their scrutineer that an "unprecedented" number ballots were being deemed spoiled, often for reasons the party said were inappropriate.

Party president Kyle Rees says even if the recount doesn't win back the seat, it could show whether the scrutineer's concerns were warranted.

Chaulk cancelled in-person voting on Feb. 12, after a COVID-19 outbreak spread through the St. John's region, and shifted the vote to mail-in ballots. Results were announced last Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press