News / Canada

Three charges against former candidate following Yukon general election

WHITEHORSE — Charges under the Yukon Elections Act have been laid against a candidate who ran unsuccessfully in the 2016 territorial election.

Tamara Goeppel, the candidate who represented the Yukon Liberal party in the Whitehorse Centre riding, is scheduled to appear in a Whitehorse court on Feb. 28.

Yukon RCMP say the territory's chief electoral officer requested an investigation into the use of proxy votes during the campaign leading up to the Nov. 7 vote.

That probe has now wrapped up and RCMP say Goeppel is charged with two counts of aiding or abetting persons in making proxy applications not in accordance with the Elections Act.

She is also accused of a single charge of allowing someone to falsely declare on a proxy application that they would be absent from Yukon during the hours of the vote.

Yukon and Nunavut are the only jurisdictions in Canada to permit proxy voting, where electors who are away from their polling division on election day can authorize a relative or another person to cast a ballot on their behalf.

When the allegations surfaced a week before election day, the Yukon Liberal party released a statement saying that 10 proxy votes from "vulnerable people" had been collected in the riding of Whitehorse Centre.

The statement said she was "well intentioned and genuine in her desire to help vulnerable people vote."

Goeppel finished second in Whitehorse Centre behind Yukon New Democratic party leader Liz Hanson, with 432 votes, compared with Hanson's 487.

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