We are now in the final days of the local body elections, and come Saturday afternoon (12 October) Ashburton District residents will have their first indication of who their representatives around the Council table will be for the next three years.
If you are yet to cast your vote, it isn't too late. You still have time to drop your completed ballot papers into the Council office. In fact, you can do so right up until noon on Saturday.
Although local government elections are conducted by postal vote, it is now too late to put your ballot papers in the mail and guarantee they will be received on time. It is now very unlikely that papers dropped in the mail today or tomorrow will make it to the Council office in time for counting. Remember, the deadline for voting means papers must be at the Council office by 12 noon, not simply in the mail.
The Saturday just gone by (5 October) was Vote Day – a date we, like many other councils, promoted to encourage voters to complete their papers and get them in the post in plenty of time for the 12 October deadline.
I was pleased to see a surge of votes made over the weekend. Thank you to those who used this opportunity to play your part and have your say at election time.
At the time of writing this, the data shows that 34.37 per cent of eligible voters in our district have cast their votes, which sits slightly above where we were this time in 2016. Ashburton is typically a district of higher voter turnout than the national average. In fact, during the last local body elections, we had one of the highest in the country: just over 53 per cent of voters took part in the 2016 elections.
When voting closes at 12 noon on Saturday, a progress result will be posted on the Council website (ashburtondc.govt.nz/elections) as soon as available that afternoon. The official results will be advised no later than 17 October.
In these closing days of the elections, I strongly urge anyone who still has their voting envelop sitting around their house, to take it out, select the candidates you would like to elect and bring it to the Council office at 5 Baring Square West Ashburton no later than 12 noon this Saturday 12 October.
This opportunity only comes around every three years, so please play your part and be counted.