Despite stating that the Bega Valley Shire Council election results would be ready by Friday afternoon, September 16, both candidates and residents were still left waiting for results three days later.
On Monday morning, general manager of the Bega Valley Shire Council, Leanne Barnes told candidates that although council had been advised that both councils covered by the local Returning Office (Eurobodalla and Bega Valley) would be declared on Friday September 16, it had not happened.
Each ballot paper has to be data entered twice and then the data entry checked.
“Eurobodalla took longer than expected, with the declaration at Eurobodalla late Saturday, the focus is now on Bega Valley,” Ms Barnes said.
A spokesman for the Electoral Commission refused to clarify why the would not say why the delay had occurred, saying only that the “process had taken longer than expected”.
Once the data entry is completed, the distribution of preference votes will taken place. It is this part of the process that could be the most intriguing; as preferences are distributed the current order of candidates after the first preference votes will most likely change with the exception of Tony Allen who already has more than enough votes to be elected. Whether people voted according to the How to Vote cards given out by the first preference candidate will also play an important part in the result.
Results are expected to be announced on Tuesday, September 20, some 10 days after the poll.
Council is planning an induction day for councillors on Wednesday, September 21 with the first council meeting planned for Wednesday, September 28.