Port Stephens Deputy Lord Mayor Paul Le Mottee says a mouse click has cost him his chance at the council election, after the Electoral Commission rejected his nomination.
“There’s thirteen forms I had to upload, they were all signed and dated correctly, there’s timestamps to demonstrate on my computer that that’s exactly what happened,” Cr Le Mottee said.
“But where it went wrong, was I inadvertently, when I uploaded the thirteen forms, on one just form I inadvertently uploaded the unsigned version instead of the signed version.”
Cr Le Mottee says other invalid applications had been made aware of their mistake, although he had not.
It’s the first time the process has happened online, instead of with a returning officer present.
“The outpouring of support I’ve had, from nearly every other councillor, and from many of the staff, from the general public, many people who I know, many people who I don’t know, that have rung me to express support, has been quite outstanding,” Cr Le Mottee said.
“It’s really been touching, and it just makes it all the more disappointing that a little mouse click like this has brought this undone.”
Cr Le Mottee says he won’t challenge the election in the courts, saying he doesn’t want to send voters back to the polls.
“I’m disappointed I’m not going to be there to represent my part of the world, but it is only a relatively short term, two and three quarter years, not the full four year term, so I’ll just let that be,” Cr Le Mottee said.