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Île d'Orléans: His name comes out of the hat and he becomes mayor!

Île d’Orléans: His name comes out of the hat and he becomes mayor!

A dramatic turn of events in Saint-Jean-de-l’Île-d’Orléans. Head-to-head with his opponent, at the end of a judicial recount that failed to determine the winner, Jean Lapointe finally won City Hall thanks to a tie in the judge’s hat!

The suspense ended Tuesday afternoon in a Quebec City courthouse with an exceptional show. Earlier in the day, the election secretary said she planned the hit by bringing “25 cents if we get there” with her, so she could flip a coin.

Others joked about a hypothetical part of arm wrestling or a bare-hand fight to determine the winner at the end of a very tight fight.

Finally, the name of Jean Lapointe, written on a piece of paper, was drawn at random from the hat … the judge. This surreal scenario came true after analyzing a few rejected ballot papers, which were the subject of litigation.

Jean Lapointe – who has served as chancellor in recent years – was initially declared the winner by a single vote on 7 November. But Judge Christian Boutin of the Quebec court attributed an additional vote to his opponent, outgoing mayor Jean-Claude Beaulieu, confirming the equality of the two men, who collected 327 votes each.

As stipulated in Article 256 of The Law on Respect for Elections and Referendums in Municipalities (LERM), only a tie can determine the candidate declared elected in the event of a tie. However, the law does not specify the terms of withdrawal.

As exceptional as it is, such a scenario arises from time to time. Last week, a councilman from the town of Bedford, in Estery, was also elected after a tie. Frans Groulkes and Bruce Deecham were neck and neck at the end of the judicial recount. It was Madame Gruelex who was finally favored by chance.

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In 2017, Gladys Driscoll also won St. Augustine Town Hall – on the Lower North Coast – after a tie. At least three other municipal councilors in different Quebec districts were elected in this way four years ago.