As the count for the NSW Legislative Council creeps to a conclusion, there remains an outside possibility that an error in the NSW Electoral Commission’s iVote system could put the result at risk. For the first two days of voting for the election, the electronic ballot paper used for iVoting contained an error. Two of the groups on the ballot paper, the Outdoor Recreation Party in Group B, and the Animal Justice Party in Group C, were shown on the ballot paper without an above the line voting square. Around 19,000 iVotes were cast before the error was spotted. The error did not prevent votes being cast for candidate of the two parties, but it made voting for the two parties above the line impossible.
The Animal Justice Party has polled around 1.7% across the state, but around 3.5% amongst iVotes. Using this higher figure, this means that potentially the Animal Justice Party missed out on around 660 above the line votes.
In addition, the lack of an above the line box could have denied the party a small number of above the line preferences from voters voting for other parties.
If the result is challenged before the Court of Disputed Returns, it will be possible to estimate the impact of the error on the Animal Justice Party by comparing the results amongst the faulty and the correct iVotes. However, any estimate of missing votes would have to be discounted by how many below the line votes the Animal Justice Party attracted on the faulty ballots.