Second vote to choose a Green

Indigo councillor Jenny O'Connor
Indigo councillor Jenny O'Connor

INDIGO councillor Jenny O’Connor will have to wait at least another month to discover if she will be the Greens candidate for the upper house seat of Northern Victoria in this year’s state election.

Victorian Greens returning officer Stephen Luntz yesterday confirmed a second ballot would be held to determine the candidate after the first was deemed too close to call.

Just two votes separated Ms O’Connor and her opponent, Jen Alden, of Bendigo, in the pre-selection postal ballot held in November last year.

State party headquarters would not say who had the lead.

Mr Luntz said after investigating the vote, it was decided there were “enough little things that were wrong” to warrant another vote.

“Some people said they didn’t get their ballot papers, while others couldn’t read the links on emails,” he said.

“Normally these things wouldn’t make that much of a difference but when there’s only two votes in it, it very well could have.”

Mr Luntz said the party would start posting new ballot papers next week, and would also post information that was circulated via email last time.

“We’re just trying to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’,” he said.

He also expected a much bigger voter turnout this time, with people who may not have thought their vote mattered now realising it could make a difference, particularly in such a close contest.

“So I guess one of the advantages is that whoever is chosen will have a much larger endorsement,” he said.

A result is expected by mid-February.

Ms O’Connor, who lives at Beechworth, is no stranger to state election campaigns.

She ran for Benambra in 2010, when she gained 11 per cent, a lift of 4.38 per cent.

She also ran federally for Indi last year.

Ms Alden is a healthbroker and board member at Bendigo Foodshare.

The Legislative Council has three Greens members at present, all from the metropolitan-based regions.

The Lower House has no Greens MPs.