Australia: Electoral chief cautious about online voting | Sydney Morning Herald

The replacement of paper-and-pencil voting with an electronic system could see Australians lose confidence in the poll results, the electoral chief has warned. Australian Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn defended the system’s reliability following attacks from election hopeful Clive Palmer, who portrayed himself as a victim of ”rigged” results and the AEC as a military-infiltrated ”national disgrace”. Despite the conspiracy claims, Mr Palmer extended his lead over his Liberal National Party rival to 111 votes on Friday, with the final counting of outstanding votes in the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax expected on Saturday. The Palmer United Party founder and wealthy Queensland businessman reacted angrily to the discovery of 750 votes tallied against the wrong pre-poll location mid-way through the count. In an earlier mistake, officials noticed 1000 votes for Victorian independent Cathy McGowan had not been recorded correctly, pushing the seat of Indi further out of reach of former Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella, who subsequently conceded defeat this week. Mr Killesteyn said computer-based voting would eliminate these kinds of ”human errors” but the benefits would have to be weighed against hacking and manipulation fears.

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