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THE ELECTION OF MAYOR.

THE POLLING,

The polling for the first Mayor of Dunedin took place yesterday. Throughout the day, there was a good deal of excitement in the city—indeed, a commercial authority declares that the election and the arrival of the English Mail, jointly, almost put a stop to business; but not nearly so many of those entitled to vote took the trouble to record their vote?, as would naturally have been expected from the interest which has been manifested throughout the week.

Mr Mason's committee hired two or three of Cobb's four-horse coaches, together with several cars; and these, covered with placards, were constantly being driven to and fro, conveying voters to the different polling booths. Mr Paferson's committee employed cabs for a similar purpose; and each of them bore large placards. The committees of Messrs Wilson and Magregor followed the example of Mr Paterson; but we did not see the name of lAr Forman on any vehicle. There were placards calling on the electors to " vote for Mason," if " you want your money judiciously expended," if " you want your streets properly made," and if " you want drainage through the city." Hand-bills, instructing the electors how to "vote for the right man," were plentiful; the how to do it consisting oi making a cross against Mr Mason's name, the placard being partly an imitation of the voting paper, and having a large cross in "the rijrht place." Mr Patereon's committee placarded that he was " the only independent Ot=igo candidate ;" that that gentleman had "no connection with contractors;" and that voting for him would be supporting " honest independence." Mr Wilson was announced as " the only popular candidate," and as being the supporter of " town improvements," " liberal measures," a " reform council," and " leans for permanent works." There were placards in plenty with the words, " Vote for Macgregor;" but that gentleman's committee did not coin any cries. During the day, there were papers posted announcing pretended majorities for different candidates; but this, we would suggest, is a plan that should not be fostered into a habit. Such things are looked for under the system of open voting, where the Committees have; the means of keeping a pretty accurate score of the voring as it progresses; but with the ballot in operation there can be no such means of information, and invention should not be resorted to. Such pretended returns do not contain even the germ of a joke, unless it be considered a joke to mislead a few very ignorant votera into giving votes for the seemingly winning man ; and it would be as well that there should be no more deception practiced.

There was one polling booth for each ward, and the presiding officers were as follow:—South Ward, the Police Barracks, Mr E. E. C. Quick; High Ward, the office of the City Commissioners, Mr J. J. Tame ; Bell Ward, the Oddfellows 1 Hall, Mr 11. P. Morse; Leith Ward, the (late) Albion Hotel, Great King-street, Mr W. M. Hopper. In each booth, there was a small space screened off. A voter, after answering questions as to whether he was the person described as entitled to vote for certain property specified on the roll, received from the presiding officer a l!«t bearing the names of the candidates in ;'ohabetical order, each having a square opposite it. Each paper bore the initials of the officer. Retiring into the screened recess, the voter made a cross in the square opposite the name of the candidate for whom he voted; and folding the paper so that none of its contents could be seen, he returned it to the officer, who dropped it into the box. There were a few questions raised during the progress of the voting; but nothing of importance occurred. At four o'clock the booths were cleared of all persons except the officials, and voters in waiting; and when the latter had recorded their votes, the boxes were locked, and those of South, Bell, and Leith Wards were at once conveyed to the office of the City Commissioiers.

There, Mr B. B. Cargill, the Returning Officer specially appointed, was in waiting, with Mr Lazar, the clerk appointed ; and the officer and poll clerks were also present, as well as a scrutineer appointed by each candidate.

About seyen o'clock the result of the voting was unofficially made known as follows:—

William Mason 495 Jaiaps Patereon .. .. 898 Joseph A. J. Macfireeor... 88 William W. Wilson .. 73 Bobert H. Porman .. 10 Mr Cargill gives notice in another column that he will officially declare "the

final state of the poll" at noon t )-day, at the Fire Brigade Buildings—and his declaration will no doubt be, that Mr William Mason has been duly elected as the first Mayor of the City of Dunedin. The following shows the numbers of votes given for each candidate in each of the four Wards: — Wakds. South Hiiih. Bell. Leitla Mason 76 173 .... 166 .... 90 Paterson ... 81 .... 145 . . 81 .... 88 Maoeregor ... 32 .... 19 .... 21 .... 16 Wilson 7 23 26 .... 17 Fo'man 3 .... 6 .... 1 .... 1

The total number of votes included above, is 1064; and there were 46 informal votes tendered during the day. These figures make a total of exactly 1100 persons who presented themselves in the polling boots as claiming to vote; and the result is not one such as might have been expected, or showing a sufficiently reneral interest in the new Municipal institutions to call for congratulation. There are on the ratebook or roll, 4069 properties as assessed *nd giving votes. Making every allowance for absentees, sick persons. &c, it may be concluded that there were 3000 persons in Dunedin yesterday who were entitled to vote for the man they preferred as Mayor; and but little more than one-third of that number tcok the trouble to give a vote. The interest in the election which has been manifested during the week, suggests the conclusion that there are very many now in posses-ion of properties entitling them to vote, but not included in the roll in force at present, who attach more importance to the privilige of taking part in such an election, than do the majority of these whose names are on the existing roll. Comparing the number on the roll for each ward (roundly .stated) with the number of vot.-s actually given in each, the results stand thus :—

On the Roll. Voles Qivt-n. Poulh Ward 760 109 HiEh Ward 100» 3.ifl Bell Ward 1100 'JB3 LeithWard 900 212 It is to be hoped that the elections of Councillors will elicit what may be really called a general manifestation of interest, on the part of the qualified electors, in the composition of the first Munipal Council of Dunedin. About eight o'clock last evening, Mr Ma<on briefly addressed a number of hit supporters, who had assembled in and around the Commercial Hotel. ;

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ODT18650722.2.15

Bibliographic details

THE ELECTION OF MAYOR., Otago Daily Times, Issue 1119, 22 July 1865

Word Count
1,144

THE ELECTION OF MAYOR. Otago Daily Times, Issue 1119, 22 July 1865

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