The Australian Electoral Commission has ordered a recount in the desperately tight Senate race in Western Australia. The recount of more than a million votes follows an appeal by Greens senator Scott Ludlam, who lost his Senate seat in the initial count, and the Australian Sports Party’s Wayne Dropulich. An earlier request for a partial recount was refused. WA Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn said he had now decided to agree to a recount of WA Senate ballot papers where electors had marked their ballots above the line. This would involve over 96 per cent of votes, or approximately 1.25 million of the 1.3 million formal votes. The recount will also re-examine informal votes. Mr Killesteyn said the closeness of the count was not in itself the basis for a recount.
But having considered candidates’ submissions, the criticality of particular Senate candidate exclusion counts and the small margins involved, he would direct a recount take place as soon as possible.
A wafer-thin 14-vote difference between micro-parties, the Shooters and Fishers Party and Australian Christians, and preference distributions, handed Senator Ludlam’s Senate seat to the fledgling Palmer United Party’s Zhenya Wang.
Senator Ludlam said there were several scenarios where human error could change the outcome.
“Our argument was that the margin was so fine, you can’t give it the benefit of the doubt. People need to have confidence in the count,” Senator Ludlam said.
Full Article: Senate recount ordered in Western Australia | The Australian.