AEC Finalises $58 Million Of Election Funding To Candidates In Federal Election

The Australian Electoral Commission has made payments to political parties and candidates totalling $58,076,456.01, following the 2013 federal election.

Election funding is provided to parties and candidates polling at least 4% of the primary vote in House and Senate elections. Each first preference vote was worth 248.800 cents.

The payment is indexed. At the 2010 election, each vote was worth 231.191 cents and a total of $53,163,385 was paid to candidates. [Read more…]


Full Text Of A.E.C. Election Petition Regarding W.A. Senate Election

This is the full text of the election petition lodged by the Australian Electoral Commission with the Court of Disputed Returns.

The petition chronicles the conduct of the Western Australian Senate election count and the subsequent recount. It provides details of the 1,370 lost votes that could not be included in the recount.

The petition argues that “the result of the election was likely to be affected” by the missing ballot papers. It says: “In all the circumstances – including the number of missing ballot papers, the narrowness of the margin at the 50th exclusion point and the differences which, in the usual case, emerge between the fresh scrutiny and a re-count…it is not possible to conclude either with certainty, or on the balance of probabilities, either that that the fifth and sixth respondents (Dropulich and Ludlam) have been correctly returned, or an alternative return of the seventh and eighth respondents (Wang and Pratt) accurately, or more accurately, reflects the true intentions of the voters.”

The petition says “it is just that the Election should be declared void” for the purposes of Section 362(3) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act.

Text of election petition lodged by the Australian Electoral Commission with the Court of Disputed Returns.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA
CANBERRA REGISTRY NO C 17 OF 2013 [Read more…]


Electoral Commission Asks Court Of Disputed Returns To Void W.A. Senate Result

The Australian Electoral Commission has lodged a petition with the Court of Disputed Returns asking it to declare void the result of the Western Australian Senate count.

The petition’s argument rests on the 1,370 missing ballot papers that could not be included in the recount that saw 3 Liberal, 1 Labor, 1 Greens and 1 Sports Party candidates elected. Due to the closeness of the result, the missing ballots had the potential to affect the result.

The AEC’s petition all but guarantees a new election in Western Australia next year.

The High Court will sit as the Court of Disputed Returns to decide on the petition.

Media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.

Petition lodged with Court of Disputed Returns

The three-person Australian Electoral Commission today authorised the Electoral Commissioner to lodge a petition with the Court of Disputed Returns in respect of the 2013 Western Australian Senate election.

The petition was lodged at approximately 2:30pm AEDT today.

The petition seeks an order from the Court that the WA Senate election of six senators be declared void.

Given the closeness of the margins that favoured the final two declared candidates, the petition is based on the premise that the inability to include 1370 missing ballot papers in the recount of the WA Senate election means that the election was likely to be affected for the purposes of s 362(3) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

As the matter is now before the Court the AEC will not be making any further comment.

The AEC recently appointed Mr Mick Keelty AO to conduct an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the missing ballots. Mr Keelty’s inquiries are continuing.

Editorial note: For copies of the petition, please contact the High Court Registry’s public information officer (Canberra) during their business hours. The AEC will not be posting or distributing the document.


Missing W.A. Senate Votes Would Have Produced A One-Vote Turnaround

The Australian Electoral Commission has released preference information about the missing Western Australian Senate ballot papers which shows a probable reversal of the official result by just one vote.

After the first count of votes, the final two positions went to the Palmer United Party and the ALP. The result hinged on a 14-vote difference between preferences flowing to the Australian Christians and the Shooters and Fishers party.

The result was overturned by the recount and saw the Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and the Sports Party candidate, Wayne Dropulich, elected. This time, the outcome was decided by a difference of 12 votes between the Christians and the Shooters.

The recount did not include 1,375 votes which had mysteriously disappeared since the first count. However, since all the missing ballots were above-the-line votes, the first count result is available and regarded as accurate.

The ABC’s Antony Green says the preference flow shows that the original result from the first count would have prevailed if the missing votes were included in the recount, but the difference at the significant point of allocation would have been just one vote.

The data released by the AEC does nothing to cast doubt on the widespread belief that the Court of Disputed Returns will void the election and order a re-run.

The media release from the AEC with details of the count is shown below:

13-11-08_preference-information-for-wa-missing-votes_aec



Keelty Begins Inquiry Into Missing Senate Votes

The former Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty, has begun his inquiry into the missing Western Australian Senate ballot papers.

According to the Australian Electoral Commission, five members of staff are assisting Keelty.

Media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.

Australian Electoral Commission statement: Mr Mick Keelty AO APM commences inquiry

Yesterday Mr Mick Keelty AO APM commenced his inquiry into the circumstances of the missing ballot papers identified during the recent recount of Senate votes in Western Australia.

The inquiry will include identifying any administrative process and/or procedural failures that may have occurred as well as providing findings and recommendations to the Australian Electoral Commission.

Mr Keelty has been offered the full cooperation of the AEC in conducting his independent inquiry. Five Canberra-based AEC staff are currently assisting Mr Keelty with his inquiry, with further resourcing available should it be requested.

Mr Keelty is in Canberra this week receiving briefings from the AEC. He is expected to travel to Perth next week to progress the inquiry and is due to provide an interim report by the end of November.

Mr Keelty’s report will be considered by the full Electoral Commission, who will determine further actions after due consideration of the report’s findings and recommendations.

In the meantime, the AEC is presently considering its position in relation to a possible petition to the Court of Disputed Returns in relation to the WA Senate outcome.

Editor’s note: Mr Keelty is currently not available for interview. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.


W.A. Senate Result Declared

The result of the Western Australian Senate count has been officially declared, in Perth today.

Peter Kramer, the Australian Electoral Officer for Western Australia, declared the result which saw 3 Liberals, 1 Labor, 1 Greens and 1 Sports Party candidates elected. He then took questions about the conduct of the ballot. [Read more…]


Greens And Sports Party Prevail In WA Senate Count; Next Stop Court Of Disputed Returns

The Greens and Sports Party candidates have prevailed in the recount of the Western Australian Senate election but their success may be shortlived as a legal challenge to the result looms.

The official recount concluded today after the Australian Electoral Commission computer conducted a full distribution of preferences. The Australian Sports Party candidate, Wayne Dropulich, was elected to the fifth position, whilst Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was re-elected to the final position.

Ludlam

Dropulich and Ludlam missed out in the first count. A 14-vote margin in one of the distributions led to the ALP’s Louise Pratt being re-elected and the Palmer United Party picking up a seat. The recount has overturned that result. [Read more…]