Last chance to vote

Elec­tion pa­pers must be in the post to­day ahead of elec­tion day on Satur­day. To­tal

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Cromwell res­i­dent Sarah Chris­tiansen is one of the ward’s 1874 peo­ple to have al­ready voted in the lo­cal body elec­tions, but at only a 38 per cent re­turn rate, Cromwellians are lag­ging be­hind other wards get­ting their votes in.

There are a to­tal of 14,704 elec­tors in Cen­tral Otago, and as of Oc­to­ber 3, 44.4 per cent had voted, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany count­ing the votes, Elec­tionz.com.

Chris­tiansen, a mother-of-three, said it was im­por­tant peo­ple got out and voted and there was ‘‘no point sit­ting down or keep­ing quiet and then moan about it after the fact’’.

Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil Elec­toral Of­fi­cer Kara Leckie said Wed­nes­day was the last day peo­ple could post their elec­tion re­turn pa­pers to guar­an­tee de­liv­ery by elec­tion day on Satur­day. Votes could also be hand de­liv­ered to ser­vice cen­tres in Cromwell, Ran­furly and Roxburgh un­til Fri­day. On Satur­day the Alexan­dra of­fice would be open from 9am un­til noon.

May­oral can­di­date Martin McPher­son said win or lose the mem­o­ries he would take away from the cam­paign were of hu­mour and af­fec­tion. ’’It’s been the in­ter­ac­tions with peo­ple and how peo­ple have acted with hu­mour and af­fec­tion. It has been a re­ally en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

May­oral can­di­date Tim Cado­gan said he had have re­ceived a very strong re­sponse to his prom­ise of greater com­mu­nity pres­ence and in­volve­ment on the part of the mayor.

‘‘The cam­paign it­self has been tir­ing, espe­cially while be­ing heav­ily in­volved in Blos­som Fes­ti­val as well as keep­ing up with my gen­eral work­load. I have been thrilled at the com­mu­nity en­gage­ment; 80 peo­ple at the Omakau meet­ing, al­most 200 in Cromwell. Democ­racy ap­pears to be alive and well in Cen­tral.’’

In­cum­bent mayor Tony Lep­per said the cam­paign was in­ter­est­ing, as all agreed on is­sues fac­ing Cen­tral Otago and the poli­cies that would cre­ate a sus­tain­able fu­ture.

‘‘Be­cause of this much of the talk has been about dif­fer­ences in style. My mes­sage has been about hav­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, the sup­port of elected mem­bers and the great work­ing re­la­tion­ship I have with the cur­rent CEO. My coun­cil has been brave enough to make sig­nif­i­cant changes to how we col­lect rates in elec­tion year and this may cost me but it was the right thing to do at the right time.’’

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Cromwell res­i­dent Sarah Chris­tiansen get­ting her vote in for the Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil lo­cal body elec­tions.

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