Last-place candidate claims “fraud” in Lower Mainland election

This is the second time Serena Oh has sued to overturn a Langley City election.

Failed Langley City mayoral candidate Serena Oh has launched a legal challenge to the election.

Langley City officials received the legal petition on Monday afternoon, and has contacted its lawyers, said chief election officer Kelly Kenney.

The City is not commenting on the lawsuit, Kenney said.

Oh told the Langley Advance she believes she should have won the mayoral race, and that she has filed for a recount.

She plans to represent herself in court, Oh said.

Oh’s petition, filed against outgoing Mayor Ted Schaffer, Kenney, and the City of Langley, asks that the election be declared invalid “if the total votes of Val van den Broek is less than 2,447. Treat as Election Scam [sic] or fraud; accordingly disqualified for the City of Langley Mayor,” the petition reads.

It asks for the same declaration if second-place finisher Peter Fassbender had less than the 2,240 votes he received according to official election results, or if Oh had more than the 146 votes she received.

According to the official election results, Oh received 146 votes in total, compared to 2,240 for Fassbender and 2,447 for mayor-elect van den Broek. Oh received three per cent of all the votes cast.

Under the “factual basis” section of the petition to the court, Oh wrote that the mayor’s executive assistant told her that Schaffer would not endorse any candidates.

It also says “The ballots are not counted correctly.”

This is the second time Oh has attempted to take the City to court to overturn the results of a municipal election.

Oh was one of the defeated candidates in the February, 2016 byelection for a City council seat. Oh had the lowest number of votes out of all nine candidates, with 57 votes. Nathan Pachal, who won the council seat, received 740 of the 2,074 votes cast.

Defending against Oh’s previous court challenge cost Langley City approximately $27,000. Judges ordered Oh to pay at least some portion of her court costs. The City looked into recovering its court costs from Oh, but were advised that it could cost as much, or more, to collect.

Oh has managed to launch multiple legal actions despite having been declared a vexatious litigant. In 2012, a judge issued an order that Oh would not be allowed to launch legal actions without the permission of the court. Another, similar order was issued later regarding a lawyer Oh had sued.

A vexatious litigant is someone who habitually or persistently launches flimsy legal actions. They often represent themselves and tend to repeatedly appeal any rulings.

According to the provincial Ministry of the Attorney General, there is no registry of vexatious litigants.

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