Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Queensland - AEC misleading declaration

The Australian Electoral Commission has come under fire for publishing false and misleading information  on its media release announcing the results of the Queensland Senate election

The Australian Electoral Officer for Queensland, Ms Anne Bright said that the Senate count had involved the keying-in of votes into a computerised system, and today an automated process was used to distribute preferences and determine the six elected candidates.

"As with all aspects of the count, the automated distribution of preferences undertaken today was open to scrutineers appointed by the candidates," Ms Bright said.

"Approximately 97% of voters cast their ballot Above-The-Line on the Senate ballot paper while 3% voted Below-The-Line," she said.

The AEC refused to provide scrutineers access to copies of the below-the-line preference data-files during the preference data-entry process.  Without access to this information scrutineers can not verify the accuracy or validation of the below the line preference vote count.

In what has otherwise been an exemplary count the AEC's refusal to maintain an open and transparent counting system has undermined confidence in electronic computerised counting of the ballot.

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