Sunday, 10 July 2016

Post-Australian Federal Election 2016: feel the angst rising

Voter text to candidate, Twitter, 2 July 2016

Data shows that 18.94% of those eligible to vote in Cowper didn’t cast a ballot according to the Australian Electoral Commission on 5 July 2016.

ABC News, 4 July 2016:

Complaints are growing in Western Australia's north about late changes and limited polling options, which left hundreds of people unable to cast a vote in the federal election.
Shire of Halls Creek CEO Rodger Kerr-Newell said dozens of tourists were turned away from the town's polling station on Saturday.
"There were issues ... there was not interstate voting," Mr Kerr-Newell said.
"Halls Creek has a very large population of tourists at this time of year and they were denied the opportunity to vote."
According to Mr Kerr-Newell, several tourists came to the shire to complain….
Complaints have also surfaced from several Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara and Kimberley.

WA Today, 6 July 2016:

Callers to Radio 6PR's Breakfast rumour file said on Tuesday several polling places across WA ran out of ballot papers on election day, leaving many with no opportunity to vote.
Polling stations near Caversham, in the electorate of Hasluck, were said to have combined leaving a shortfall of ballot papers come the afternoon…..
In the electorate of Pearce, it was claimed the only polling station in Aveley and Bullsbrook ran out of ballot papers, as did the only two available in Quinns Rock…..
There is also trouble brewing in the knife-edge Perth seat of Cowan, with Sky News reporting that up to 150 votes were not properly signed off by an AEC officer, potentially rendering them void.

ABC News, 7 July 2016:

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and the voting system have come under intense scrutiny as reports of ballot issues in several seats continue to emerge.
Four states have been affected by mishaps, including shortages and incorrect distribution of ballot papers.
Many people have claimed they were unable to vote on July 2 and some votes have even been ruled informal due to AEC errors…..
The blunder happened under the supervision of an early polling mobile ballot team which visited various health and aged care establishments across the region….
Queensland senator Glenn Lazarus, who has not been returned, said many Queensland voters had contacted him to complain they were unable to vote due to polling booths running out of ballot papers.
The Glenn Lazarus team is compiling information from those around the country who were unable to vote which will then be lodged with the AEC as a bulk complaint.
Mr Lazarus has created an online form for people to complete which has been shared more than 600 times on Facebook.
"According to many people they were told by AEC staff to check their name off the electoral roll so they could be excused from voting to avoid a fine because the polling booth had run out of ballot papers," Mr Lazarus said…..
The AEC said it was investigating reports of wrong ballot papers being handed out in the electorate of Higgins.
For the first six minutes of voting at a South Yarra polling station, voters were given ballot papers for a neighbouring seat.
ABC political analyst Barrie Cassidy said an ABC staff member was one of several people who received the wrong paper.
"He went back and said, 'It's not the right paper'," Cassidy said.
"They got the supervisor. They noticed other such ballot papers had been torn off."…..
Independent candidate Rob Oakeshott and Greens candidate Carol Vernon, who both ran for the seat of Cowper, have lodged an official complaint with the AEC claiming the neighbouring seat ran out of Cowper absentee ballot papers.
Those who voted in the electorate of Lyne were reportedly told they would be signed off the electoral roll but would not be able to cast a ballot.
"People turned out to vote and didn't have the chance to have their say, and it's their right to do so," Mr Oakeshott told the Coffs Coast Advocate.
He said it was unclear how many people were unable to vote but he urged the AEC to clarify the issue.

Fresh voting controversy has hit Western Australia after residents at a nursing home in the Pearce electorate were counted as informal voters after being given Victorian ballot papers by mistake.
The Australian Electoral Commission confirmed a mobile voting unit gave the 105 residents the Victorian senate papers on Thursday.
"The Senate is a statewide vote, and I can't speculate on what the impact might be, except to say that together with 47,000 votes already deemed informal [in WA] those 105 are also informal and will play no further part in the determination of the election result," the commission's state manager Marie Neilson told News Talk 6PR on Thursday.  

ABC News
, 8 July 2016:

On election day, Defence said just under 1,300 ADF members voted at the special polling stations in the exercise area, but that the Army had to truck another 1,400 or so to civilian booths in places such as Port Augusta.
Defence said AEC staff and volunteers stayed back for up to three hours - until 9pm - to process the huge lines.
But it still was not enough.
In a statement Defence said: "628 Army members did not cast their votes. Of this number, 543 are from the 1st Brigade."

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