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SECRETS: Could the ACT’s early scan count of pre-poll votes leak before the close of the poll?


The ACT Electoral Commission will no longer rely on human beings to count the ballots of the next ACT parliamentary election set for October 18 this year. They’ll use a combination of scanners and computers to input and tally the nearly quarter of a million Canberran votes.

The Canberra Times reports this will ensure that pre-poll votes will be scanned, tallied and made available ten minutes after the close of the polls.

A VEC insider warned that this was a recipe for disaster if the results of the count of the pre-poll were leaked prior to the election or the close of the polls. He told VEXNEWS that “Anyone who thinks those numbers or indications of them won’t or can’t leak has clearly never followed betting on the Brownlow Medal or read Laurie Oakes on the subject of federal budgets. They should tread very warily when scanning or counting or handling votes in any way prior to the close of the ballot. I can’t imagine any other jurisdiction going this way.”

The ACT’s bizarre electoral system uses proportional representation and produces hundreds of versions of a ballot paper to ensure all candidates get a fair run on the ballot-paper.

Electoral authorities in other states will be closely monitoring how the new counting system goes. The Victorian Parliament is currently looking at how to use technology to ensure a faster and more accurate count including the possibility of people actually casting a vote on a computer screen directly. One MP told VEXNEWS they were hopeful that this system could potentially all but eliminate inadvertent informal voting.


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  1. They could leak but they won’t because no one cares. ACT elections are pathetic.

    Posted by RedHill | August 13, 2008, 13:23
  2. This is not theory but fact.

    During the 2006 State Election correspondence was sent out to all media by a member of staff of the Victorian Electoral Commission indicating that the VEC staff had accessed the results of the pre-poll voting system prior to the election.

    There is serious concern that the results of the electronic voting system is not secure. Evidence presented to the Victorian Parliament Electoral Matters Committee indicates that the VEC staff had accessed this data without the presence or knowledge of scrutineers raising serious concerns about the security of the electronic ballot.

    Victorian VEC Chief Commissioner Steve Tully has been ducking and weaving ever since.

    There is a strong need for an independent audit of the Victorian Electoral Commission,

    We have called for the Ombudsman to be given authority to independently investigate the administration of the Commission.

    Currently the Ombudsman has no authority over the VEC and only Parliament can investigate them.

    Any investigation by Parliament is limited as they do not have the skill experience and time required to undertake a full and proper investigation. There would also be accusations of possible political bias in any Parliamentary review.

    The Ombudsman is the appropriate person/authority to undertake such an investigation.

    Posted by Melbcity | August 13, 2008, 14:51
  3. Copy of correspondence Glenda Jackson (VEC), dated November 24, concerning Electronic Voting Kiosk data. One day before polling day in Victoria.

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Glenda Frazer
    Sent: Friday, November 24, 2006 8:37 AM

    Subject: Late update to results

    A late update to all regarding the votes taken at our 6 E Centres and Melbourne Airport. Each centre mentioned will be taking votes for all Districts in the State, additionally each of these centres will be counting all votes taken on election day. After analysing the number of voting centre results entered last night for 1st prefs (District and Region) and 2 CP we have realised that everyone could be waiting around all night for what would be dribs and drabs that we do not anticipate would make an impact on the result.

    Because of this we have decided that we will not be entering these small results on election night. These will be entered on Sunday during the day.

    Many apologies for those people who I have misinformed this afternoon, as I said this is a late change.

    We do not anticipate large numbers of votes from these centres. I will keep in touch with progress

    Regards – Glenda

    Posted by Melbcity | August 13, 2008, 15:02


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