Blogging Senate forecasts and results in the WA Senate re-election until officially declared.

Twitter: @AU_Truth_Seeker

Sunday, 3 November 2013

WA Senate recount mini addendum

Here at Truth Seeker HQ, we seek the truth however this can be brought to light. Rather than trying to do all the hard work ouselves, in this instance I will just refer you to the comments made by various anonymous citizens on my last two posts - herein exists a great summary of key vote variations due to the recount. Thank you for your collective diligence. I fear alternative time pressures may prevent me from doing the full booth by booth breakdown, but I am delighted others have gone to this effort.


  1. I have a question to pose to the wider community who have experience in actual AEC processes and vote counting (which I do not). I know there are some very knowledgeable people on this website.

    We all seem to be assuming that there is nothing sinister in the AEC lost ballots. However to lose exactly the number of ballots required to change the vote in order to change the result (seemingly by one vote) is surely then miraculous. The chances of it happening must be so small as to be....well....

    To turn things on there head and play devils advocate for a moment, why shouldn't we assume there must be something else at work?

    My question is to posters who have experience in AEC counting processes and specifically handling of ballot boxes. How easy is it for ballot boxes to go missing? Has this ever happened before? What about the chances of a number of boxes going missing at the same time? Is it known what tally of votes is in a ballot box when it is transported? Who has access to the ballot boxes?

    (all questions that Mr Kelty will be asking no doubt)

    In short is it realistic to expect that the boxes just disappeared when an alternative scenario exists which is supported by a change in the actual result...

    I would be interested to hear what posters think?

    1. During the recount, a box was opened that contained unused ballots. It could well be the case that someone mistakenly threw out the marked ballots instead of the unused ballots. Seems much more likely than some sort AEC conspiracy

    2. As far as the missing votes being exactly enough to change the result that is nothing more than a coincidence, The margin could not have been known by anyone prior to the distribution of preferences and the votes were missing for days before that.

      I won't say miraculous, but perhaps extraordinary.

    3. I agree on the comment above. The missing ballots won't change the numbers drastically but rather what happens behind closed doors.

    4. A appreciate all the insights on this page. Anonymous, has it been acknowledged by the AEC or anyone else that a box containing unused ballots was opened on election night?

  2. Does anyone remember Waggrakine? I've been looking at the new BTL ballots for that booth and have come up with a little theory about what went wrong.

    The new BTL ballots for the booth are numbered from 80, suggesting that there may have been 79 ballots assigned a number in the first count, of which only one (#16) appeared in the original BTL count.

    My theory is that on the night they counted 79 informal votes and 32 BTL votes. They then forwarded the wrong bundle to CSS for logging and data entry. Of the 79 ballots logged by CSS, one (#16) turned out to actually be formal and the rest were added to informal, resulting in the original tallies of 1 BTL and 110 (=78+32) informal. In the re-count, they’ve looked at the 32 potential BTL votes (erroneously labelled as Informal), and 29 of them have been found to be formal and are now included in the count.

    This is just a theory based on the ballot numbering (I have zero contact with anyone involved in the process), so could be completely wrong, or the numbers might be slightly different. But I think it fits the history of the numbers from that booth pretty well….

  3. As I understand it, votes are physically counted at
    The booth
    On reception at Divisional Office
    Before despatch from Divisional Office
    Upon reception at Central Senate Scrutiny.

    This is what is supposed to happen according to Section 273A of the Act.

    There is also a specific subsection of 273A that deals with Senate recounts. In essence it mandates a repeat of the 1st CSS count.

    In each of these counts, tallysheets are required and parcels of votes must be labelled with the type and quantity of votes inside. Each time ballots are recounted, they must be placed back in their original wrappers and over-wrapped with new wrappers.

    If this is really so, then it would seem that the votes must have disappeared in CSS at the first count and before being wrapped up for posterity.

  4. You also now have an acknowledgement on p3 of The West Australian newspaper

  5. Sometimes, it's sad that voters just get exhausted for their votes to be counted but then fraud happens.

  6. Hey Truthseeker! SA LC calculator is up: Are you going to do an analysis of those preference deals? I'd be really interested to read it for one. :)