A RECOUNT OF all votes in a Kerry electoral area from the local elections in 2014 is under way.
Independent (and former Fianna Fáil senator) Dan Kiely lost out in that election by just two votes to Fine Gael’s Mike Kennelly.
Kiely had appealed to the Supreme Court for another recount on the basis of possibly spoiled ballots. That request was granted in December 2015.
At present the validation of the almost 15,000 votes has been completed according to Radio Kerry.
It’s understood that at least 10 ballots have been dismissed during this validation process, which should make the count especially interesting given the tight nature of the initial tally in 2014.
The recount proper is currently taking place at John Mitchels GAA clubhouse in Tralee, with legal counsel for all 15 candidates present and Circuit Court Judge Tom O’Donnell on hand in Limerick to decide regarding any disputes that may arise.
Kiely had taken his case to the Supreme Court who ruled in December last year that he was entitled to a recount due to the legal uncertainty surrounding certain ballots.
The ballots in question saw some voters mistakenly beginning their preferences with a number other than ’1′, ie ’3′, ’4′, ’5′.
This happened as a result of two elections being held on the same day, with some voters continuing their preferences from one ballot paper to the next.
The Supreme Court, which voted in a majority of four-to-one to endorse Kiely’s appeal, also awarded costs in the case against Kerry County Council, a penalty that could cost the council a six figure sum in reparation.