Shepparton News



- By Thomas Moir

Counting continues in the race for the seat of Shepparton, with results pointing to independen­t Suzanna Sheed retaining the seat. Ms Sheed may lead the contest, but she remains cautious and is awaiting a final outcome, arguing the result is too early to call.

The count goes on at Shepparton’s Victorian Electoral Commission headquarte­rs, but it will still likely be a few days yet before new lower house votes are added to the tally.

Re-checking will start today, set to include an adjusted two-candidate preferred result, voting centre by voting centre; from Ardmona through to Yalca North.

Highlighti­ng a busy finish to the early voting period, Shepparton VEC election manager Mick Bastian said about 15 000 pre-votes had come in ahead of election day, with up to 3000 per day in the days leading up to Saturday.

During this time, mobile teams were visiting nursing homes and hospitals to ensure people could vote.

So far, more than 83 per cent of the vote is counted.

Mr Bastian said this included the primary district votes for Shepparton counted at polling centres on Saturday, early votes and those collected at mobile centres that had been counted once and ‘‘phoned in’’.

Absentee votes, those for the seat of Shepparton but collected outside the electorate, are expected to arrive today.

Mr Bastian said these lower house votes yet to be received and scheduled to arrive today, were set to be processed this week.

‘‘Those Shepparton ballot papers have been parcelled up and are in process of being transporte­d,’’ he said.

‘‘Re-checking the other votes will probably take us a couple of days before we can then make a start on those.’’

Counting also started yesterday on Shepparton upper house votes.

‘‘They’ve largely been counted, the ones we have available at this stage,’’ Mr Bastian said.

‘‘Then, our next stage is, all those votes that were taken in the voting centres, need to be re-checked. . . that process will be commenced (this) morning.’’

This count will also include an adjusted two-candidate preferred tally, this time including independen­t Suzanna Sheed and Liberal candidate Cheryl Hammer.

‘‘Basically, it means that the initial estimate that Ms Sheed and Mr Schwarz would have the highest primary total,’’ Mr Bastian said.

‘‘They realised very quickly, that Ms Sheed and Ms Hammer were the two candidates with the highest primary vote.

‘‘Obviously there’s been an adjustment to that. . . we need to re-do a two-candidate preferred for each of those voting centres, starting tomorrow.

Mr Bastian said the days were long for those counting at the moment, applauding the staff.

This busy spell included what he described as an ‘‘intense finish to the early voting’’ period.

‘‘I understand that the media and the candidates are very keen to have an outcome. . . and so are we,’’ Mr Bastian said.

But he said a formal result could not be declared until all eligible votes had been counted.

 ??  ?? Mick Bastian
Mick Bastian

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