Counting of primary votes in the Moreton Bay Regional Council Division By-election continues today.
At the close of counting on Sunday, Yvonne Barlow held the lead, with 26.69 percent of votes, followed by Brett Hayes with 22.65 percent, Dean Teasdale (15.96 percent), Ryan Bakker (15.94 percent), Ben Wood (13.31 percent) and Jacqui Findlay (5.45 percent).
Across the weekend 61.63 percent of votes were counted, based on the percentage of enrolled electors counted in each count.
Commissioner Pat Vidgen said all votes on hand, including postal votes returned to date, early votes, and election day votes, were counted for the first time on Saturday night.
“The preliminary count to the first preference is carried out on election night with all results posted on the ECQ’s election results website as the numbers come in and are verified,” Mr Vidgen says.
“The voting system for this by-election as required by the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 is optional preferential voting.
“This means some ballot papers may show only one candidate selected, some will show more than one candidate selected, and some will have all candidates numbered in order of preference.”
Mr Vidgen said a result might not be declared until after the deadline for the return of postal votes on December 14.
He said the successful candidate must receive 50 percent plus one of the formal votes, and a declaration is only made when the outcome is certain.
“Once all votes are in including postal ballots, the distribution of preferences begins.
“Achieving certainty means a declaration may have to wait until after the deadline for the return of postal votes.”
Mr Vidgen said of Division 7’s 26,000 electors, about 6600 (25 per cent) chose to vote early, and 7700 (30 per cent) voted on election day, with 2000 of 3100 issued postal votes returned so far.
“This equates to a turnout of approximately 63 per cent, however this figure will change as postal votes continue to be returned,” he said.