he Australian Electoral Commission failed to adequately respond to warnings about the transport and storage of ballot papers made years before the West Australian Senate debacle. An Australian National Audit Office report into the security of ballots during last year’s federal election is scathing of the AEC, saying it failed to react to recommendations made in 2010. The AEC has been under fire over its botched handling of the poll; the loss of 1370 ballot papers forced a fresh WA Senate vote in April. The 2010 audit by the audit office found the AEC needed to improve the security of ballot papers during transport and storage.
However, in its report released on Thursday, it says the commission adopted a narrow interpretation of the recommendation, which resulted in “inadequate action” being taken.
The Commonwealth auditor said the AEC response to the 2010 recommendation – training employees about better ballot security – simply reinforced existing practices within the commission.