Former federal police chief Mick Keelty has described the handling of the West Australian Senate election recount as a “disaster”. Parliament’s electoral matters committee is investigating how 1370 ballots went missing in a recount of the 2013 Senate election in WA and measures to ensure it does not happen again. The loss has resulted in a court-ordered re-run of the WA Senate election on April 5, which could affect the Abbott government’s delivery of key election promises. Mr Keelty was hired to find out what went wrong, but was unable to put his finger on one specific fault or criminality. “This was a disaster,” he told the committee in Canberra on Wednesday.
The debacle claimed the resignations of Australian electoral commissioner Ed Killesteyn and WA electoral officer Peter Kramer. Mr Keelty said he was glad Mr Kramer had gone. “There was poor leadership,” he said.
The transport contract for moving ballot boxes had expired two months before the election and pallets with boxes of ballot papers were found, Russian doll-style, near rubbish bins. “As boxes were used and reused and packed and repacked, they had (ballots from) different polling stations in them and different parties,” Mr Keelty said.
Full Article: WA election recount a ‘disaster’: Keelty.