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After a slow start, the Cromwell Community Board by-election is starting to heat up.
Postal voting opened at the start of this month to fill the vacant seat left by the shock resignation of Robin Dicey.
Two candidates, David George and Bob Scott, are vying for the spot.
One week into voting, less than 2% of voting papers had been returned. However that had now increased to 15%, or close to 1000 voting papers.
Voting closes at the end of next week.
Electoral officer for the Central Otago District Council,
Anthony Morton, said return rates for by-elections were typically 10-20% lower than triennial elections.
It was expected about 2000 voting papers would be received for the Cromwell by-election by the close of voting.
‘‘Unfortunately we can’t control the timings for by-elections and the participation rates can be influenced by factors like weather events delaying delivery or return of the voting papers, holiday patterns, the number of candidates and how they’re campaigning,’’ Mr Morton said.
With little more than a week to go before voting closes, Mr Morton recommended people mailing voting papers should do so by Tuesday. After that they should use the ballot boxes at the CODC offices in Cromwell or Alexandra.
A progress result is expected to be released shortly after voting closes at noon on Friday, July 23, with the final result to be declared early the following week.
- By Shannon Thomson