‘Anxious’ candidates wait in snail mail election
WITHOUT a single vote being cast, Isaac Regional Council mayor Anne Baker and six fellow councillors celebrated their re-election.
All but two seats were unopposed on election day, resulting in only a quarter of the region’s residents heading to the polls or post.
As of Sunday afternoon, tallies for division two and eight remained too close to call.
In division two, Sandy Moffat was in the lead, edging out current councillor Nick Wheeler by more than 10 per cent.
With 961 votes tallied Ms Moffat secured 55.57 per cent of the vote, with Mr Wheeler falling behind on 44.43 per cent.
But with just over half the votes counted, the two candidates were separated by only 107 ballots.
Despite the positive sign, Ms Moffat said the initial results had only made her “more anxious”.
“It’s a good sign. But anything can change with the postal votes coming through,” Ms Moffat said.
For the small business owner, a seat on council would be a lifeline after her cafe, Java Joe’s coffee house, was forced into lockdown.
“It’s been a really tough week; emotionally, mentally and financially,” Ms Moffat said.
Mr Wheeler said the coronavirus pandemic had radically transformed his community, and the campaign trail.
“It’s absolute turmoil with everything that has developed around it,” Mr Wheeler said.
Results for division eight will only be revealed over the next few days.
By Sunday afternoon just under half the votes from the fully postal division had been tallied.
Early results have Vivienne Coleman in the lead, with 50.85 per cent, or 358 votes.
It puts her ahead of fellow candidates Jennifer Ennis with 27.41 per cent or 193 votes, and Karen Hindle on 21.73 per cent, or 153 votes.
Ms Hindle said more electorates should follow the division’s lead and hold fully postal elections.
It was not just her concerns about the spread of coronavirus, Ms Hindle said.
“I think you would get more people who would vote,” she said.
But as more government resources go online, Ms Coleman said it was ridiculous that “we still have to vote these days with a ballot or a booth”.
The three candidates expect to wait a week before the final count is concluded.
Ms Ennis said she would have to sit with her nerves for the next few days.
“I’ll have to take up Tai Chi in the meantime,” she joked.