Votes ‘down to the wire’
While the local body elections are over for many, two Otago Regional Council candidates are on ‘‘tenterhooks’’ waiting for about 300 special votes to be counted.
Central Otago farmer and incumbent councillor Gary Kelliher is currently sitting 21 votes ahead of Cromwell-based high-profile candidate Michael Laws.
Laws received 7560 votes, with Gary Kelliher ahead of him for the third Dunstan Constituency seat with 7581 votes.
Kelliher said he would not be seeking a recount if the votes were anything above one or two.
‘‘I think unless it is more than that I’ll probably leave it. I am very nervous. It has just been a waiting game. The unknown leaves you on tenterhooks but there is nothing you can do. There is a process and it is down to the wire.’’
Laws said with just under 300 special votes to count and Kelliher’s 21-majority, he should still win.
‘‘I feel for Gary, I feel for me, and I feel for those who voted for both of us. A decisive result is always preferred but here is living proof that every vote counts in a working democracy so that lesson is useful for my kids and any civic minded students.’’
He was seeking further information from the electoral officer before he would consider a recount.
Results are expected later this week.
New ORC representative Maggie Lawton and her daughter Ella Lawton, on the QLDC.