Twelve ballot boxes were wheeled into Courtroom 1 at provincial court in St. John’s Friday morning, their contents key to deciding which Power will be mayor of Placentia.
Would it be Wayne Power, Jr., who won the Sept. 24 election by two votes — a gap widened to four on the first recount — or Bernard Power (no relation), the former councillor alleging procedural irregularities?
By Friday afternoon, with Judge James Walsh not yet having made his way through half of the boxes — each vote scrutinized by the candidates and lawyers — any optimism that the matter would be decided Friday was long gone, and an additional day, Oct. 18, was set aside to continue the recount.
In the meantime, Wayne Power will continue to serve as mayor of Placentia.
Walsh repeatedly pointed out that Bernard Power’s allegations of procedural problems would not be ruled on in provincial court, but are matters to be heard by the Supreme Court, if he chooses to go that route.
Bernard Power initially asked for the recount to be delayed, as his lawyer was not able to be in court Friday, but Walsh saw no reason to delay what he said was a “mathematical exercise.”
During a break in the recount, Bernard Power told The Telegram he’ll wait for the outcome of the judicial recount, and declined to say what problems had occurred.
Wayne Power declined to speak to The Telegram, saying he’d prefer to wait until the recount is complete.
The Town of Placentia also had a lawyer present to observe the recount.
“We’ve no position either way,” said Christopher Lewis, representing the town. “Just there to essentially help the court if questions come about the process. There’s certain assertions being made about alleged issues that have arisen through the course of the election, some of which may be clerical errors, that sort of thing.”