Anger as vote recount denied
The former Otago Regional councillor who lost his seat to Michael Laws by five votes is ‘‘absolutely gutted, frustrated and disappointed’’ he has been denied a vote recount.
Gary Kelliher filed an application to the district court for a recount of the votes with the Dunstan Constituency after losing in the 2016 election to Laws. However, Judge Paul Kellar declined the application.
Kelliher said he did not make the decision to recount ‘‘flippantly or lightly’’ and Electionz had led him to believe a judge would accept a request for a recount because of the closeness.
‘‘I understand recounts have been granted in the past on closeness. The judge’s decision is based heavily on the request being on the closeness of numbers. I have no grounds to otherwise question the robustness of the process or the integrity of those involved, and then be able to provide evi- dence of that would be impossible.’’
In a written judgement, Kellar says aside from the closeness of voting, Kelliher did not provide any other evidence supporting the result was incorrect and that on a recount he would be elected. The closeness of voting itself did not amount to reasonable grounds for a belief that the declaration was incorrect. Something more would be required by reference to the possibility of errors in the way the votes were counted.
Michael Laws unseated former Otago Regional counciller Gary Kelliher by five votes.