The initial results:
- 3 Liberal
- 2 Labor
- 1 Palmer United Party
Following the recount:
- 3 Liberal
- 1 Labor
- 1 Greens
- 1 Australian Sports Party
Sadly it seems that between the initial count and the recount 1,375 ballots have been misplaced. It is clear that the results are very close, and significantly highly dependent on preferences. It seems that any fair reading would argue for the need for a fresh poll, and this needs to be requested in the Court of disputed returns.
Mick Keelty of the Australian Federal Police is heading up an investigation to discover if the matter is the result of bureaucratic incompetence, or a deliberate act designed to influence the result unfairly. Left as it is, the conclusion must be that the result is compromised and therefore unacceptable. Logically either the Labor Party or the Palmer United Party could be expected to file for a fresh ballot with the Court of Disputed Returns. It may even transpire that the electoral may make the application.
A side bar to this issue is the matter of the methods and technology we use for collecting and counting votes. Obviously there are matters of security that need to be covered, however it seems clear that the idea of electronic voting, if indeed not even on-line voting may have some benefits.
- A centralised roll would reduce the capacity of those ardent supporters of democracy who feel compelled to exercise their right to a voice more than once in a given election.
- Rules could be written to advise the voter that the ballot they are about to lodge was indeed valid or informal. This could enhance people right to a voice and reduce the accidental informal votes. People have a right to vote informally so it would have to give them to option to fix it or lodge it.
- The tallying of the poll would be somewhat faster than the current arrangements, with the need for re-counts being eliminated, and indeed it would be very unlikely that a result could not be declared within the month of the election.