The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) announced today that it had returned the writs for the 2010 House of Representatives elections, and for the Senate elections in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory to Her Excellency, Ms Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Writs for Senate elections in all states have been returned to the State Governors.
Close of Business, Friday September 17, Writs returned and the AEC still has not published the Below-the-Line (BTL) preference data for the Victorian Senate.
All other states have been published.
UPDATE: (Sept 19) THE AEC HAS PULLED THE PUBLICATION OF THE BELOW-THE-LINE PREFERENCE DATA. THE LINKS BELOW PREVISOULY WORKED NOW THEY DON'T (We have published copies of the data-files here)
Update: (Sept 20) Files are back up and can be accessed via the main menu page. Victoria's BTL data still missing http://vtr.aec.gov.au/SenateDownloadsMenu-15508-csv.htm
Loctation of data-files available
The AEC’s refusal to provide scrutineers access to copies of the progressive BTL preference data files, reconciliation data files and the AEC Chief Legal Officer's, Paul Pirani, response to scrutineers request that copies of the BTL data would require payment of $30 and a FOI application has marred what has otherwise been an exemplary counting process.
The double entry-data verification, on-site and off-site backup twice daily, retention of the primary and secondary preference data and manual checking of reported forced entry and inconsistent data-entry records go a long way towards addressing concerns that were highlighted in the 2006 Victorian State election.
Unlike in Victoria votes did not go missing between count A and count B and crucial data files were not deleted, as was the case in 2006 Western Metro count.
Of course this begs the question "Why has Victoria spent Millions of dollars duplicating software development and process when they could have just utilised the professional services provided by the AEC?"
Millions of dollars wasted by the State government that could have been better spent on health, education, roads or other services.
Seams no one is monitoring the expenditure and waste in supporting multiple electoral authorities. Double counting, Numerous junkets undertaken by the administration and the pollys with no accountability. "You scratch my back I’ll scratch yours, MUMS the word"
It is time for a re-think and the establishment of a single independent electoral authority and time to put an end to the waste and duplication.