AVONDHU INVITED TO OVERSEE COMMUNITY COUNCIL VOTE COUNT
Following last week’s contentious comments by Batt Power regarding voting procedures adopted by Mitchelstown Community Council The Avondhu was invited to oversee the counting of votes in the latest election for the community council.
The count took place at Tearmann Ui Chaoimh where chairman, Sean Finn and members of the election committee gathered to count the returned ballots.
When all the sealed envelopes were opened it was recorded that of the 233 ballots distributed, over 100 were returned. With up to three votes on each ballot, over 216 votes were cast in Area P. Each ballot paper carried the official stamp of Mitchelstown Community Council and was checked by three members of the election committee.
“I want to thank all the residents who took part in the election and those people that have been selected will be informed over the coming days. I would especially like to thank the election committee for all their hard work and community council member, Proinsias Condon for the use of his premises,” Sean Finn said.
Some concerned residents did, however, contact The Avondhu with reports of voter dissatisfaction following the publication of the story in last week’s newspaper. Some were concerned at unexplained numbers that appeared on the back of their ballot papers.
“This has never happened before and I can’t understand why the papers are numbered.
“These numbers are written in ink on the back of the ballot papers and as far as I am concerned there should be no identifying marks on ballot papers,” a resident of Barrack Road told The Avondhu.
The controversy was sparked with an interview in The Avondhu where community council member Batt Power claimed that the election in Area P, which covers Mitchelscourt, Barrack Road, Dun Ri, Kildorrery Road, Ashfield Manor and St Fanahan’s Place, was ‘highly irregular’ and an attempt at gerrymandering. Another resident of Dun Ri, who again asked not to be identified, was concerned that some of the ballot papers were numbered. “I don’t understand why the papers have to be numbered. I think new papers should be sent out,” he said.
However, other callers to The Avondhu, including one resident of St Fanahan’s Place, outlined all the good work the MCC has given to the community over the years.
“The community council has worked very hard for the town and I don’t believe that they are intentionally doing anything wrong and I don’t believe a word of what was reported last week,” the caller told The Avondhu.
Community council chairman, Sean Finn outlined the reason for the numbers on the ballot papers.
“The numbers are only there to help with the distribution nothing more. Residents of this town run the community council on a voluntary basis; they have been democratically elected or co-opted to work for the people of this community. That is exactly what they do, they work hard for the people of Mitchelstown and I would once again like to thank them for this dedication and hard work which I know will continue to grow over the years,” Mr Finn concluded.
Thursday 18th November 5:52pm