IT DOESN’T get much closer than this.
Liberal Party candidate and incumbent Louise Staley and Labor Party candidate Sarah De Santis were yesterday still waiting to learn who will represent the Ripon community for the next four years.
And they might be waiting a while yet, as the count is coming down to the slimmest of margins.
After a see-sawing affair, Ms Staley had moved 200 votes clear of her opponent on Wednesday. But just hours later, at lunchtime yesterday, it was Ms De Santis in front by just 10 votes on a two-party preferred count. By mid-afternoon with 19,843 votes – or 41.54 per cent – having been rechecked, Ms Staley had regained the lead.
Electoral commission officials say the declaration of a winner might take another week, with postal votes arriving until today.
Voters in the Ripon electorate had a plethora of choice when they went to the polls on Saturday, with 10 candidates listed on the ballot.
Two of those – being Ms Staley and Ms De Santis – have gained the strongest support across the electorate.
The seat of Ripon is among a small handful of seats that remain undecided almost a week after Election Day.
As the Labor party announces its Cabinet, it marks the end of a successful campaign that earned them overwhelming support across the state – and with the knowledge that representation could still grow.
There’s not much greater contrast than in the neighbouring district of Lowan.
Nationals candidate Emma Kealy only increased the party’s stronghold on the region, with provisional results indicating a first preference backing from almost 68 per cent of voters.
A record number of voters took the chance to have their say in the weeks prior, while others joined queues on Election Day.
There’s also a portion of people who chose not, or forgot, to vote.
And there’s those voters who weren’t necessarily informed when they stepped into the booths.
There's no better example of why being informed, making your voice heard and taking your chance to vote is so important than what's happening in Ripon right now.
When the final count is done, there might be mere votes in it.
Would you want to be left wondering if your vote might have changed the course of history?
Jessica Grimble, editor