The Australian Electoral Commission today released a report by Mr Mick Keelty AO inquiring into the circumstances of 1370 missing Western Australian Senate votes.
The inquiry found there were significant failures in some of the processes and procedures for the handling, movement and storage of WA Senate ballot papers. These failures were likely to have increased the risk of ballot papers being mislaid, as well as making it more difficult to detect or accurately determine the fate of the ballots.
Mr Keelty observed that while there was no evidence of any deliberate action to destroy or remove ballot papers, the systems in place in WA made it difficult for him to reach a conclusive finding.
The full Australian Electoral Commission has considered Mr Keelty’s report and all of his recommendations have been accepted.
Inquiry recommendations include:
A dedicated task force led by Deputy Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers will immediately begin the work of implementing Mr Keelty’s recommendations. Discussions have already commenced with transport and logistics providers for the introduction of industry best practice controls over the movement and control of ballots and valuable items and a review of relevant AEC training materials. An AEC review has also commenced of ballot paper storage arrangements in all warehouses used by the AEC across Australia.
The AEC will include Mr Keelty’s report in its forthcoming submission to the federal parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) for consideration as part of the Committee’s general inquiry into the 2013 Federal Election and related matters. The AEC will provide ongoing progress reports to the JSCEM regarding the implementation of Mr Keelty’s recommendations.
02 6271 4415
0413 452 539