Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn Resigns; WA Electoral Officer Also Goes; Casualties Of Senate Debacle

The Australian Electoral Commissioner, Ed Killesteyn, has resigned. The Western Australian Electoral Officer, Peter Kramer, has also quit.

KillesteynKillesteyn’s resignation was announced this afternoon by the Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson. He said Killesteyn has taken personal leave until his resignation takes effect on July 4.

The resignation comes a day after the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, formally voided the Western Australian Senate election. The court ruling followed a petition from the AEC that the election should be thrown out following the loss of around 1300 ballot papers during last year’s count.

Killesteyn’s resignation is an honourable move to accept responsibility that will safeguard the AEC against ongoing criticism. It comes just two months into his second 5-year term as Electoral Commissioner.

The resignation of the Western Australian Electoral Officer, Peter Kramer, complements Killesteyn’s and provides a chain of accountability for last year’s events. Kramer was in the final year of a 5-year term. [Read more…]


AEC Loses 1,375 Votes In WA Senate Count; Mick Keelty To Investigate

There has been an extraordinary development in the Western Australian Senate count, with 1,375 votes missing and Mick Keelty, the former Federal Police Commissioner, called in to investigate.

KeeltyThe Australian Electoral Commission says 1,375 votes “could not be located, rechecked or verified”. The total included 120 informal votes and 1,255 formal above-the-line ballots.

The Electoral Commissioner, Ed Killesteyn, described the lost ballot papers as a “serious administrative issue”. He said he had reassured himself “that exhaustive efforts have been made to find the missing ballots at all premises where WA Senate votes were stored or moved during the 2013 federal election”. [Read more…]


Electoral Commissioner Orders Senate Recount In Western Australia

The Electoral Commissioner, Ed Killesteyn, has ordered a recount of Senate votes in Western Australia.

The Commissioner has instructed the Australian Electoral Officer for Western Australia to conduct a full recount of all above the line ballots and all informal ballots. This represents over 96% of all votes casts. It excludes ballots where electors voted below the line.

The decision follows a request by two defeated candidates, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and the Australian Sports Party’s Wayne Dropulich. At issue is a 14-vote margin that resulted in a preference flow that defeated Ludlam and Dropulich and elected the ALP’s Louise Pratt and the Palmer United Party’s Zhenya Wang. [Read more…]