Validation of votes is underway in the count afresh

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count afresh 2The validation of votes is underway in the count afresh of the Listowel Municipal District. The count is taking place following a ruling from the Supreme Court and has the potential to change the make up of Kerry County Council. Heavy rain falling on the roof here in John Mitchels but that will not break the concentration of the teams for the 15 candidates in the Listowel Municipal District – where the local elections never really ended. Seven seats are up for grabs on Kerry County Council. A reminder that this count afresh follows an order from the Supreme Court. That arose from a legal challenge taken by Independent candidate Dan Kiely who narrowly missed out on a seat on the local authority in May 2014. The judges agreed with his claim that it was a mistake to interpret a 3-4-5 marked on a ballot paper in the absence of a first preference as 1-2-3. Currently votes which have been mixed in large bins are being validated by count staff –that is to check that there is a number one clearly marked and the vote has been perforated at the polling station. The count is being supervised by Circuit Court Judge Tom O’Donnell who is sitting in Limerick and if any candidate has an issue he will need to be consulted there. Tallymen and legal teams are keeping an extra close eye on this landmark count afresh which could well change the make up of Kerry County Council as in 2014 just 5 votes separated the final three candidates for the last two seats It is anticipated the adjudication of the all important doubtful votes will take place in the early afternoon when the first count may also commence.