AEC progressing the count this weekend

Updated: 9 July 2016

This weekend

The AEC is prioritising its resources where possible to progress the conduct of the count today in the following close seats for the House of Representatives.

  • Flynn, QLD – 7 votes
  • Capricornia, QLD – 175 votes
  • Hindmarsh, SA – 177 votes
  • Herbert, QLD – 348 votes
  • Cowan, WA – 427 votes
  • Forde, QLD – 783 votes

*Margins on the AEC's tally room as at 8am AEST on Saturday 9 July 2016.

The counting of votes will also continue in a number of other seats across Australia throughout the weekend. AEC staff will continue undertaking a range of parallel activities to ensure the orderly and timely progression of counting activities in the coming week.

See below for an outline of the week that was.

Declaration of the result in Mallee

The AEC will formally declare the result in the Division of Mallee today – the first electorate to be declared for the 2016 federal election.

Further House of Representatives results will be formally declared in electorates across the country during the coming weeks.

Next week

Postal and other declaration votes will continue to be received up until the receipt deadline of Friday 15 July. This includes declaration votes from the 94 overseas voting centres in operation during the federal election, which continue to be progressively dispatched to their home divisions.

Senate ballot papers securely packaged and transported to the Central Senate Scrutiny sites across Australia will be progressively scanned for inclusion in the count. This process will continue over the next couple of weeks.

This is a close election and the overall result will rely on the results in a small number of close seats. If a seat remains close, a full distribution of preferences may be required to determine a result – which can only be undertaken after 15 July when all votes for the electorate must have been received.

Results will continue to be published progressively on the AEC Tally Room.

The week that was…

This week has been one of significant activity for the AEC, as it focused on conducting an accurate and timely count of the highest integrity.

Approximately 11 million ballot papers were counted by around 75 000 AEC polling officials at more than 7 000 polling places after 6pm on election day. This included House of Representatives first preference counts followed by a two candidate preferred count and then a count of first preferences on Senate ballot papers which continued until 2am on Sunday morning in some locations.

AEC workers emptying House of Representatives ballot boxes to commence the count

AEC workers unfolding Senate ballot papers to commence the count

After election day, thousands of AEC staff started early Sunday morning to commence the extraordinary task of securely packaging, distributing, collating and verifying millions of postal and other declaration votes across Australia.

This week fresh counts of the ballot papers counted on election night have also been undertaken as part of the AEC's regular verification processes.

One of many declaration vote exchange centres operating across Australia
AEC staff sorting interstate and out of area votes

From Tuesday through to Friday the process of verifying and counting over 1.2m postal votes received to date has been continuing. Nearly 600 000 postal votes had been entered on the online AEC Tally Room by Friday night. Well over a million other declaration votes are being receipted and verified, and this process continues.

Counting of Queensland Senate ballot papers in Mt Isa
Counting of House of Representatives ballot papers

The AEC has also securely packaged and distributed millions of Senate ballot papers to the Central Senate Scrutiny sites in each state and territory, and begun the process of scanning and capturing the preferences marked on the ballot papers. The consolidation of Senate ballot papers at a single site in each state and territory is likely to be the largest collection of ballot papers in the AEC's history.

Securely packaged NSW Senate ballot papers in the Central Senate Scrutiny site in Moorebank awaiting scanning
Listing seals for Senate ballot papers packed for transport
Scrutineers are given a demonstration on Central Senate Scrutiny processes
AEC workers checking scanned Senate ballot papers

Editor's note: