A political party accidentally left off online versions of ballot papers has indicated it could take court action after the New South Wales election. The iVote online voting system was suspended for much of yesterday after the NSW Electoral Commission was alerted to the error by the Outdoor Recreation Party’s Peter Whelan. The system is available to voters who are vision impaired, have reading difficulties, live more than 20 kilometres from a polling station or will be out of the state on election day. Mr Whelan said he was shocked when he logged on to the website yesterday. Despite his party having drawn a sought-after Group B “above the line” position on the Upper House ballot paper, it did not appear there on the electronic version. The Animal Justice party, which drew Group C on the ballot, was also omitted.
“I really didn’t believe it and took a photograph of it on my smartphone … and then phoned the Electoral Commission,” Mr Whelan said.
He said he initially thought he must have made a mistake with his party’s paperwork, but electoral commissioner Colin Barry phoned him and conceded it was the commission’s error.
“He apologised profusely and said I had in fact discovered the mistake,” he said. “It seemed in the data entry someone had pressed the wrong key.”