Votes ‘down to the wire’

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

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.

MAR­JORIE COOK

New ORC rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mag­gie Law­ton and her daugh­ter Ella Law­ton, on the QLDC.

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