Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Given the general malaise which afflicted the national psyche over the last two months, it comes as no surprise that at least 2,977 early votes cast for the Division of Boothby (South Australia) and 452 early votes cast for the Division of Flynn (Queensland) will not be counted in the 21 August 2010 Australian Federal Election, because the handling of these ballots breached the Commonwealth Electoral Act and the Australian Electoral Commission has instigated urgent examinations into the circumstances which led to the exclusion of these votes. The examinations will establish the facts surrounding the incidents and report findings to the Electoral Commissioner.
ABC News reporting on the Boothby count:
The ALP demanded an investigation into how the voting papers were handled by an official.
Its candidate Annabel Digance achieved a swing toward Labor in the marginal seat.
The party has not ruled out going to the Court of Disputed Returns.
ALP South Australian secretary Michael Brown says the party will decide whether to pursue the matter once the AEC investigation is finished.
"We do not have any confidence now that the 3,000 votes counted were actually the 3,000 votes that were cast," he said.
"The AEC has agreed with us that those votes cannot be included so it's now the case that we do not know at this stage and may never know who actually was elected."
Mr Southcott has claimed victory with a current lead of 1,394 votes.