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A SUCCESSFUL voting process trialled by the Manawatu District Council in the mayoral by-election earlier this year is to be repeated for the election of council’s new Feilding Ward candidate.
Deputy Electoral Officer Janine Hawthorn said the seven candidates’ names on the voting papers would be listed in random order, rather than alphabetically.
“Only four invalid votes were received in the mayoral by-election, which is very, very low,” she said, “and meant that voters appeared to be taking more time in ticking the right box.”
Council’s decision to introduce the random option followed a judicial review of the 2010 Local Government Elections where a steering group believed that candidates with surnames that started after the letter “M” were more disadvantaged than those from “A” to “M”.
Voting papers for the upcoming by-election are to be posted to about 10,000 ward residents and ratepayers from May 14, with the postal voting closing at noon on June 6.
The candidates seeking to fill the vacancy are Kim Fenn, Ange Jury, Wayne Ellery, Russell Johnson, Shane Casey, Grant Hadfield and Jeanette Goodwin.