Low voter turnout

JESSICA SUTTON
Last updated 12:00 26/05/2012

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More than 80 per cent of Feilding ratepayers are yet to decide on who should be voted in as the next district councillor.

With 13 days left until voting closes, only 15 per cent of the papers have been returned for the Manawatu District Council's vacant Feilding ward position.

The need for a new Feilding councillor arose after Margaret Kouvelis was elected mayor in a by-election. Previous mayor Ian McKelvie resigned after being elected MP for Rangitikei.

There are seven candidates vying for the position – Kim Fenn, Ang Jury, Wayne Ellery, Russell Johnson, Shane Casey, Grant Hadfield and Jeanette Goodwin.

Deputy electoral officer Janine Hawthorn said it was the first ward by-election she had been part of.

"It's hard for me to do a comparison on how the voting returns are currently tracking as I do not recall a ward by-election being held previously in the Manawatu," she said.

"It certainly is slower than previous elections that I am aware of.

"My gut feeling tells me that we won't get anywhere near 50 per cent return but, who knows, I might be pleasantly surprised."

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- Manawatu Standard

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