By 11:15 p.m. all polls in Hay River North and South had officially been accounted for along with nearly all 19 poll districts across the territory.
Everyone hushed and cheered at 10:33 p.m. at the Driftwood Diner as a voice from the flatscreen chided that Groenewegen was in the lead by 70, even though they’d been in celebratory mode for a few hours.
The unofficial results had Groenewegen in the lead against Marc Miltenberger (339), winning the seat for Hay River South with 465 votes.
By 11 p.m. cheers blurred into embraces at the D and C Cafe as it was announced that Robert Bouchard had an unofficial win against Roy Courtoreille (265), and Beatrice Lepine (133) with a total of 363 votes.
It was the same scene over at the Diner, as supporters watched in anticipation for the
This will be the beginning Groenewegen’s fifth term in the Assembly. Her supporters relayed their content by repeatedly chanting “four more years, four more years.”
“We’ve had the results for quite some time now,” said supporter Duane Morris. “But we’ll wait for the victory announcement before we really celebrate.”
Robert Bouchard emerged through the doors of the Driftwood Diner to share the victory as he had just received unofficial wood that he’d been elected to represent Hay River North. Bouchard was relatively speechless at word of the near certain win.
By 11:30 p.m. with all polls closed, the unofficial vote count at Elections NWT was 11,760.
The low voter turnout had many candidates worried and disappointed.
Groenewegen was not dismayed, saying that she’s raring to go, ready to elect new leadership for the territory. Other ideas included expanding agriculture in the region, looking to help provide support for parents of autistic children as well as upgrading the physical accessibility of services.
After thanking an extended group of dedicated supporters, Groenewegen thanked her husband of 34 years.
“I want to make Hay River proud,” said Groenewegen. “During the campaign you have nothing but time to discuss good ideas, but lets keep it going.”
Official results had Groenewegen in the lead 58 per cent against Miltenberger (42) for Hay River South. Bouchard led with 48 per cent against Courtoreille (35) and Lepine (17).