Two candidates who narrowly missed out on positions in the Christchurch local elections have applied to a District Court Judge for a recount of the votes under the Local Electoral Act 2001.
Ali Jones (pictured, main photo, far right) has applied for a recount after the final election results declared on 14 October 2022 showed she was 16 votes behind the incumbent councillor, Pauline Cotter, in the competition for the Innes ward seat on the Council.
After voting closed at noon on Saturday 8 October, progress results put Ali Jones 46 votes ahead of Pauline Cotter, but the lead swapped the following day when preliminary results – the tally of all ordinary votes in the election – were released. The preliminary results gave Pauline Cotter a lead of 11 votes.
When special votes were taken into account and the final election results were declared, Pauline Cotter had 2,653 votes and Ali Jones had 2,637 votes.
Luke Chandler has also applied for a recount. He missed out on a position representing the Riccarton ward on the Waipuna Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board by two votes.
Christchurch City Council Electoral Officer, Jo Daly says unsuccessful candidates can apply to a District Court Judge for a recount of the votes if they have reason to believe the public declaration of the number of votes is incorrect.
They must apply within three days of the results being declared and pay a $750 deposit.
“In order to get a recount, the applicant needs to satisfy a District Court Judge that they have reasonable grounds to believe the declaration is incorrect and that if the votes are recounted, he or she might be elected,’’ Ms Daly says.
If a judge orders a recount, legislation requires it to be carried out as soon as practicable.