Special vote count is delaying new council's progress
The counting of special votes in the Nelson city election is delaying any announcement on who will be deputy mayor and who will chair each committee, mayor-elect Rachel Reese said today.
It was also holding up an announcement on when the inaugural meeting will be held to swear in the new council.
Returning officer Warwick Lampp said there were several hundred special votes to verify and cross-check, which was a normal procedure after each election, but the result could change from the preliminary results. The latest official count brought ousted long-serving councillor Derek Shaw a few votes nearer to a seat back at the table.
The preliminary tally has him 77 votes behind Councillor Eric Davy, who gained the spot as the 12th representative elected.
On Saturday the margin was 178 votes. Ms Reese said until the final official count was known it would be inappropriate to complete the exercise of appointing councillors to various positions.
Mr Lampp said special votes were cast for a number of reasons, including that some people might not have received their voting papers on time, or that they had "lost" them. "We normally get quite a few hundred and we have to verify each one.
"There's a heap of checking involved and it's possible the result could change from the preliminary," Mr Lampp said.
The latest preliminary result has seen Ms Reese's vote increase from 7477 released on Saturday to 7887 in the preliminary count. Ousted mayor Aldo Miccio's vote rose from 6048 to 6392, Brian McGurk's mayoral vote went from 3018 to 3156 and Richard Osmaston's from 308 to 347.
Mr McGurk, who polled highest in the councillor election, has had his lead increased to 10,055 votes when on Saturday the tally was 9572. The next highest polling councillor Matt Lawrey's tally increased from 8817 to 9358 votes.
Councillor Pete Rainey's tally has squeezed above the 7000 mark.
The remainder, apart from Tim Skinner and Eric Davy, breached the 6000-vote barrier.
Cr Kate Fulton scored close to 7000.
- © Fairfax NZ News