The count afresh in the Listowel Municipal District got underway this morning shortly after 9am. The count, which has the potential to change the make up of Kerry County Council, is taking place in the John Mitchel’s GAA club. This count afresh was ordered by the Supreme Court following a legal challenge taken by Independent candidate Dan Kiely who narrowly lost out on a seat on Kerry County Council in the local elections in May 2014. The central issue to that challenge was whether a 3-4-5 marked on a ballot paper, in the absence of any marking of a number ‘1’ preference, can be deemed a valid vote in an election. The judges upheld Mr Kiely’s claim that this is a mistake. So today the candidates return for the count afresh. There will be five counting stations, with the same number of count staff as was provided at the original count. The counted ballot papers are held in 9 sealed ballot boxes – once opened the papers in each parcel will be counted to confirm that they tally with the original count. All ballots will then be re-mixed and scrutinized by count staff to confirm a valid clear first preference, bearing the official mark. Any ballot paper that does not contain a valid clear first preference and bear the official mark shall be placed in a separate bundle marked “doubtful” for adjudication. Once the adjudication process has been completed the first count will commence.