Some results hang on just a handful of votes, as mail-ballot count continues

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OTTAWA — Recounts are expected in a clutch of close-run ridings, where a handful of votes separates the victor from the loser, according to election experts.

As the counting of mail-in ballots continued in many ridings across the country on Thursday, some races were still too close to call.

Election experts predict that in a few photo-finish ridings, who will sit in Parliament will be settled by a recount.

Among the close-run results is in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., where less than one per cent of the vote separates the Liberals and the Conservatives.

Experts say a recount is expected in the Winnipeg riding of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley where Conservative Marty Morantz beat Liberal Doug Eyolfson by just 24 votes.

A judicial recount would likely be triggered in the Winnipeg seat, because the margin is so small, experts said.

Quito Maggi, a pollster and electoral researcher, said voters may have to wait for recounts in a few close-run ridings to find out who their MP will be.

"The Charleswood seat is heading for a judicial recount. I suspect that at least two or three other (candidates) will ask to go to recount," Maggi said.

"We noticed at this election that there were a larger number than expected close races. The turnout was way, way down too. At least 1.2 million fewer people voted in this election than the last election."

An automatic judicial recount is triggered if there is a tie between the two leading candidates or if the difference in votes is fewer than one one-thousandth of the total votes cast.

In other tight races, the loser has the option to go to court to ask for the votes to be counted again. The NDP, Conservatives and Liberals did not respond to questions about whether they would demand recounts in ridings where they have come a close second.

In Vancouver Granville, another close race, the counting of mail-in ballots continued on Thursday. Liberal candidate Taleeb Noormohamed has been narrowly leading New Democrat Anjali Appadurai.

In Davenport, Ont., the Liberals' Julie Dzerowicz won by fewer than 200 votes, after a close-fought challenge from the NDP.

Elections Canada expects more ridings to finish counting mail-in ballots Thursday night. But in some with thousands of postal votes, counting will continue Friday.

In B.C., where some ridings such as Victoria received over 10,000 mail ballots, results are not expected until Friday afternoon.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on Sept. 23, 2021.

Marie Woolf, The Canadian Press

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