The Australian Electoral Commission has denied requests from the Greens and the Sports Party for a recount of the Senate ballot in Western Australia.
The count was finalised yesterday, resulting in the defeat of Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and the elimination of Sports Party candidate Wayne Dropulich. Both candidates requested a partial recount.
The AEC said neither request for a recount identified “any specific issues” that would “have warranted the conduct of a recount”. It appears that neither candidate has been able to find any irregularities in the count and their appeal is simply based on the fact that the result was close.
In a statement tonight, the defeated Greens senator, Scott Ludlam, said he would appeal the decision. Under Section 278(2) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act, the appeal has to be lodged with the Electoral Commissioner, Ed Killesteyn, before the declaration of the poll. The declaration is scheduled for 11.30am tomorrow, W.A. time.
Ludlam said: “As none of the elected senators will be required to take their seats in the Senate before 1 July 2014, there is time to ensure the result is correct.”
The AEC’s Western Australian State Manager, Peter Kramer, explained the decision to deny a recount on ABC radio tonight.
- Listen to Kramer (3m)
- The New Senate Numbers and the Abbott Government
Media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.
Australian Electoral Commission statement: WA Senate recount requests declined
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has released its decisions today on the WA Senate recount requests submitted by the Australian Sports Party candidate, Wayne Dropulich and the Greens (WA) candidate, Scott Ludlam.
The AEC received the two requests prior to the formal declaration originally scheduled for 3.00pm (WST) on Wednesday 2 October 2013.
The requests for a recount did not identify any specific issues, which would have warranted the conduct of a recount and as a result the requests have been denied.
Mr Dropulich and Senator Ludlam have the option of appealing the decision to the AEC Electoral Commissioner under Section 278(2) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 before the declaration of the poll.
The formal declaration of the poll for the WA Senate election has been rescheduled for 11.30am on Friday, 4 October 2013 at Level 13, 200 St Georges Tce Perth. All candidates, media and the public are invited to attend.
Media release from the Australian Greens.
Greens will appeal Electoral Commission decision
Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam will appeal the Australian Electoral Commission’s decision this afternoon not to recount Senate votes despite a difference between the respective parties at last count of just 14 votes.
“There have been Senate vote recounts both in this state and other jurisdictions when the margin has been far greater, and in more than one occasion those re-counts have led to a different result,” Senator Ludlam said.
“In such a marginal decision, with such important consequences for two Senate seats, only a recount can ensure that the votes receive the scrutiny needed to exclude human error.
“As none of the elected senators will be required to take their seats in the Senate before 1 July 2014, there is time to ensure the result is correct.”