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This article was published 27/9/2011 (3550 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
She registered as a provincial election candidate at the last minute, didn’t utter a word to media during the campaign and now, Communist Party candidate Lisa Gallagher has dropped out of the race in Brandon West.
Gallagher, a perennial Communist Party candidate in Brandon, officially withdrew from the provincial election race on Sunday, Elections Manitoba has confirmed.
Under provincial election law, all registered candidates have until the day before the election to withdraw their name from the race without penalty.
Gallagher finished last in the constituency in the 2007 provincial election with 43 votes. Prior to that, she ran in Brandon East in the 2003 provincial election, picking up 58 votes, and was also a provincial candidate in Brandon West in 1999.
She was also a federal candidate for the Communist Party of Canada in Brandon-Souris on four separate elections.
Gallagher did not return the Sun’s phone calls for comment on her decision to drop out of the race, however, Communist Party Leader Dennis Rankin did confirm Tuesday morning that she is no longer a candidate.
Rankin said the party had not been in touch with her to discuss her decision.
"We know as much as you do," he told the Sun yesterday.
With Gallagher’s withdrawal, the Communist Party of Manitoba is now running only four candidates across the province.
Gallagher’s departure from the race has also thrown Elections Manitoba officials for a bit of a loop, as she is the only one of Manitoba’s 209 registered provincial election candidates to withdraw ahead of next Tuesday’s election and the first person in three of the past provincial elections to do so.
Because of the extremely short timelines ahead of election day, manager of elections operations with Elections Manitoba Mary Skanderbag says they will not print replacement ballots.
"We have signage that has been put up at the advance locations and we have a more of an official one that has been sent out to the Returning Office to put up at every voting place (on election day) to explain that any ballot that has been cast for that person would have to be rejected, as per the Elections Act," Skanderbag said. "The returning officer will also make sure that voting officials try and pass that on as they are issuing ballots. We’ll do whatever we can to make sure that the public knows so, hopefully, that won’t happen."
Any voter in Brandon West who may have already cast their vote for Gallagher at an advance poll location will, unfortunately, be counted as a rejected vote, Skanderbag noted.
Because she was a registered candidate for the provincial election for nearly two weeks, Gallagher must still file her finance report with Elections Manitoba within four months of election day — even if she took in no campaign contributions or undertook no campaign spending.
If she fails to do so, she is then ineligible to be nominated as a candidate in any election up to and including the next general election unless the statement or return or other information is filed with the Chief Electoral Officer within 30 days.
Advance voting, meanwhile, continues across the province this week.
As of Tuesday morning, 23,000 eligible voters have cast their ballot in advance.
Skanderbag said if advance voting numbers hold steady, the province is on track to break the advance polling turnout set in 2007 and credits the addition of 100 more advanced polling locations — many in shopping malls and on post-secondary campuses — as the likely reason.
Advance polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from now through Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Polls on election day are open from 7 a.m to 8 p.m.