Kusugak, Sammurtok will attempt to break dead heat in Rankin byelection

Polling station open at Siniktarvik hotel until 7 p.m.


Alexander Sammurtok

Alexander Sammurtok

Lorne Kusugak

Lorne Kusugak

Voters in Rankin Inlet South will make a second attempt to choose between candidates Lorne Kusugak and Alexander Sammurtok today, Feb. 10.

Polls opened at 9:00 a.m inside Rankin Inlet’s Siniktarvik hotel.

To be eligible to vote in the byelection, residents must be normally qualified to vote in a territorial election — and living in Rankin Inlet South as of Jan. 6, 2014, the day the byelection writ was issued.

Kusugak and Sammurtok finished in a dead heat after the Oct. 28 general election, with 172 votes each.

Voter turnout in the newly established riding of Rankin Inlet South was 56.9 per cent that day. The total number of voters on the riding’s list sits at 615.

After a judicial recount confirmed that tie, Elections Nunavut was legally required to call a by-election.

When the deadline for candidate declarations expired Feb. 10, Lorne Kusugak and Alexander Sammurtok were the only candidates to put their names forward.

Kusugak is a former mayor of Rankin Inlet and served as minister of Community and Government Services, minister of Energy and minister responsible for the Qulliq Energy Corp. within the government of former Premier Eva Aariak.

Sammurtok has sat on the board of directors of the local co-operative association and worked for the Government of Nunavut at the Department of Community and Government Services, a job from which he has since retired.

Polls at Rankin Inlet’s Siniktarvik hotel close at 7 p.m.

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