Cr Glenn Taylor will take legal action after he was stopped from running for council due to a ‘minor technicality’ in his nomination form.
In a sensational 24 hours of local politics long-serving mayor Cr John Davis has bid a tearful farewell, the ballot draw was delayed for more than four hours, a record 87 people were confirmed as candidates and a newcomer has stolen the march in the race for mayor.
Cr Taylor said he had received legal advice that he had a strong case against the NSW Electoral Commission which ruled his nomination form was “defective.”
“I’m absolutely devastated,” he said.
Cr Taylor said the matter in dispute was “a minor technicality” and a “simple mistake” by a witness.
The Electoral Commission has since said it did not have the power to re-open the nomination process and would not be open to appeals from any of the 24 nominations rejected across NSW.
It is understood an error in the form was picked up by scrutineers in Sydney hours after his nomination and team ticket had been lodged in Orange shortly before the cut-off time on Wednesday.
It was one of three nominations for Orange and Cabonne councils that were rejected leading to the ballot draw at the Moulder Street returning office being delayed.
Cr Taylor said he would mount a legal challenge against the NSW Electoral Commission decision after receiving legal advice.
“My legal advisers are telling me we do have a case,” he said.
His nomination was seemingly approved earlier in the day when it was added to the online list of candidates for mayor and for council.
However, it was removed about 6pm when the anomaly was discovered.
About 30 people, including a host of candidates for Orange and Cabonne councils awaiting the ballot draw, were stunned to hear the NSW Electoral Commission returning officer announce that three nominations, two from Orange and one from Cabonne, had been rejected by scrutineers in Sydney.
It has not been revealed who the second Orange rejected candidate was, however it is understood that problem was sorted out.
The Cabonne candidate, Rachel Wells, was the last person to lodge their nomination on Wednesday – and was subsequently found not to have the form in order.
A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said many of the nominations rejected across NSW were submitted in the last few hours before the cut-off.
“The NSWEC has repeatedly stressed the importance of not waiting until the last moment to nominate as a candidate,” he said.
He said that in cases were defective forms had been lodged earlier in the process contact had been made to try to rectify the problems.
“A total of 24 nominations were rejected as being defective. Of these, 11 had defects in their Candidate Information Sheet, of which seven had defects in the completion of the statuatory declaration.
“All seven of these nominations were lodged on the morning of the close of nominations, leaving insufficient time for them to examined by returning officers and rectified by candidates before noon on that day.”