Tory insider says Brown’s exit raises questions about how ballots will be counted

By The Canadian Press

A Conservative party insider says Patrick Brown’s exit won’t likely change the outcome of the leadership vote, but it may encourage candidates to change their strategies as the race winds down.

Cory Hann, who was the party’s director of communications until March, says the race is “Pierre Poilievre’s to win,” though he believes Brown’s exit may change how many rounds of ballots will be counted before that happens.

Still, he says, other leadership hopefuls will be wise to start courting the support of the people Brown’s team signed up to take part in the vote.

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The party has said Brown’s name will still appear on the ballots on Sept. 10, and that raises questions about how any potential votes for the disqualified candidate will be handled.

There was a similar situation in 2017 when Kevin O’Leary pulled out of the leadership race after ballots were printed, and the party chose to count his votes, Hann says, “so as not to upset the balance early on.”

Party President Rob Batherson says the Conservatives are now working with a contractor to quickly determine the best path to ensure all ballots are appropriately counted.

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