Claims of stolen same-sex marriage ballots, weather-damaged postal survey envelopes and other anomalies have prompted a stern warning from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and calls for the entire process to be scrapped. The survey has been marred by anecdotal complaints since the ABS began mailing out ballot papers, including that some had been sent to residents’ former addresses, sparking concerns that they could be filled out illegally. At the weekend, survey envelopes at seven Canberra apartment blocks were reportedly found left out in the rain rather than delivered to individual letter boxes, while a Senate committee on Friday heard claims that some people had received postal packs without reply paid envelopes.
Gov. Steve Bullock announced Wednesday the special election to fill Ryan Zinke’s U.S. House seat will be held May 25. The U.S. Senate confirmed Zinke as the Secretary of Interior in President Donald Trump’s cabinet Wednesday. Zinke submitted his resignation as a Montana representative hours later. Elections offices across the state are preparing to hold a special election to replace Zinke. Missoula County Elections Administrator Rebecca Connors says the process could be extensive. “A special election like this is fairly unprecedented for Montana, so a lot of the elections administrators are all in the same boat of trying to coordinate on such short notice and make sure that we’re ready for a federal election,” Connors said. She says elections take at minimum five months to coordinate, but as of March 1 they only have about three.