Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam has urged the Australian Electoral Commission to delay declaring the result of a recount of the WA Senate vote until an investigation is completed into 1,375 votes that have gone missing from the original count.
The AEC is proposing declare the Senate result on Monday despite announcing today that the missing votes that had been verified during the initial WA Senate count could not be located, rechecked or verified in the recount process.
It is understood that the missing ballots, which were classified in the initial count as 1,255 formal above-the-line ballots and 120 informal votes, are from booths in the divisions of Pearce and Forrest.
“This is hugely disappointing for all parties involved in what has been an extraordinary recount,” Senator Ludlam said.
“The AEC should put off declaring a result until those votes can be found.
“We do know that the AEC is legally able to delay making the announcement and in the Greens’ view, it would be inappropriate for it to declare the result while the investigation into the missing ballots is underway.
“I add that this situation further highlights the fact that a recount was justified; in the past few weeks since the recount began, our scrutineers have found hundreds of votes in the wrong pile.”