They’re counting the votes, they’re checking them twice, they’re going to find out who will make it into the Orange City Council chamber.
Hidden above shops in Summer Street a group of election workers have been tapping away at computers since Monday entering numbers from more than 20,000 ballot papers from Saturday’s Orange and Cabonne council elections.
With the 5500 Cabonne papers all finished, the eight data entry staff were busily working on around 14,500 ballot papers from Orange, when the Central Western Daily dropped into the Election Returning Office yesterday.
Results from Cabonne were released yesterday and both elections will be officially declared tomorrow.
Returning officer Ross Baker said the final tally for Orange was edging closer.
“It’s progressing as I would expect,” he said.
So far Russell Turner, Scott Munro, Ash Brown, John Davis, Jason Hamling, Glenn Taylor, Neil Jones, and Reg Kidd have been tipped to take a spot on council.
While Dave Shearing, Jeff Whitton, Michael Gray, Sarah Buckingham, Kevin Duffy, Ron Gander and Brian Wood are seen as possible contenders for the final four spots.
Earlier in the week staff worked to organise Orange’s ballot papers into 300 batches of 50 and Cabonne’s into 113 batches.
The results are now being calculated by the proportional representation computer count (PRCC) system.
Each paper is entered into the system twice to double check the data has been entered correctly.
“If they don’t match up one of the reconcilers goes in and fixes the problem,” he said.
Ballot papers with above the line votes are correlated separately with the computer system automatically calculating the preferences for each vote.
At the 2008 election voters had to wait for almost two weeks to find out the results with the counts completed in Sydney.