An inquiry has been called and a byelection for the entire state of Western Australia could be on the cards after the Australian Electoral Commission revealed 1375 ballot papers are missing from the WA Senate recount. Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn has apologised for the missing papers, which he said could not be found despite “exhaustive efforts” to locate them. Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty has been called in to conduct an independent inquiry. Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson has moved quickly to criticise the AEC for the missing papers. “I have personally expressed to the Electoral Commissioner my strong view that this situation is totally unsatisfactory and that I, as the responsible Minister, view this matter very dimly,” Senator Ronaldson said.
Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson said it is ”totally unsatisfactory” for votes to have gone missing. Photo: Penny Bradfield “Incidents such as this go to the heart of the AEC’s reputation. Trust in our democratic institutions is paramount.”
According to the AEC, 1375 votes that had been verified during the initial WA Senate count could not be “located, rechecked or verified in the recount process”. These votes were classified as 1255 formal above-the-line ballots and 120 informal votes.
Full Article: WA Senate recount in turmoil as 1375 votes go missing.