Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Scrutineers denied access to preference data during count

Victoria's Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mr Steve Tully, has refused to provide copies of the below-the-line preference data-files to scrutineers during the conduct of the count. As a result scrutineers have been denied the opportunity to review and verify the integrity of the recorded data-files.Copies of the preference data-files will only be provided after the count has concluded.

Copies of preference data-files were available progressively though-out the data-entry process for the 2008 City of Melbourne Municipal Election.

It is impossible to properly scrutinise an electronic count without access to the preference data-file.  Elections in Victoria are no longer open and transparent.  There is no reason or justification in refusing to make this data available on request. in fact it should be available on line in real time.

In another extraordinary revelation the VEC does not tabulated the number of ballot papers printed, issued and returned for each voting centre. Steve Tully has indicated that a number of ballot papers have gone missing from the count.

Without access to the voting centre returns it is impossible to determine how many ballot papers were not included or may have been omitted from the count

The VEC has spent Millions of dollars developing software duplicating resources that are provided by the Australian Electoral Commission and they have not provided a means of recordeding voting centre declarations electronically.  Each district has a number of computer resources and it would not be difficult or costly to have the returning officers transcribe and record the polling place returns into a central database.

The VECs reconciliation report does not include the number of ballot papers printed, issued and  receive but only the number counted.  Ballot Papers that go missing are not reported to scrutineers.

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