FORMER Hindmarsh Shire councillor Wendy Robins claims she has been denied an election recount despite seven votes separating her from a seat on the council.
The former west ward councillor and deputy mayor contested the shire’s north ward in the October 22 poll.
The Victorian Electoral Commission declared incumbent Ron Lowe as the ward’s second representative after preferences.
Ron Ismay was elected on first preference votes.
Ms Robins said she was disappointed her request for a recount was denied.
“It’s up to the returning officer’s discretion,” she said.
“I’m disappointed because it’s a very close margin after the preferences, very close.
“I’m not saying there was a mistake, but it would have only taken a few votes out to make a difference.”
In the north ward, 1316 ballot papers were received, including 15 informal votes.
Of the 1301 formal ballots, Ms Robins received 429 votes after preferences, just behind Ron Lowe’s 436.
A Victorian Electoral Commission spokesperson confirmed a recount was denied.
“The decision on whether to accept a recount request sits with the Returning Officer, in consultation with the VEC’s head office,” they said.
“In looking at a request, the VEC considers the reasons a candidate has included in their request and reviews the results of the particular election and the processes.”
Ms Robins said she lodged a formal application requesting a recount on Tuesday night but was told at 9.45am on Wednesday it would not go ahead.
Ms Robins said she was grateful to those who voted for her.
“I really enjoyed my time on council,” she said.
“I think I made a difference. It’s a democratic process and the people made their choice, though it was very, very close when it came down to it.”
Ms Robins said she decided to contest the north ward, not her previous seat in the west ward, to encourage new blood in council.
“I genuinely care about the north ward, it’s where I grew up,” she said.
“I felt the north ward needed me. When the shire does its satisfaction survey it’s always the north ward that’s unhappy.”
Ms Robins said she was disappointed more people did not run for council and encouraged residents to get involved in 2020 to ensure diversity in councillors.
“There’s only one demographic being represented otherwise,” she said. “If it’s too hard we need to make it easier, so we get all voices on council.”