The nearly 1,400 Senate ballot slips that disappeared in Western Australia during the last federal election may have literally fallen off the back of a truck, says a federal parliamentary committee. The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters lambasted the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) in its final report into the 2013 federal election, describing the incident as “disastrous”. The inquiry handed down 24 recommendations, including that voters be required to show identification and — for the first time in almost a century — vote using a pen.
It described the loss of the 1,370 ballots as “the greatest failure in the history of the Australian Electoral Commission”.
The missing votes triggered a $21-million re-run of the Senate election in WA, which the committee said caused unprecedented damage to the reputation of and confidence in the AEC.