Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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Computerised scrutiny of votes in Senate election

Determination that computerised scrutiny applies

             (1)  The scrutiny of votes in a Senate election for a particular State or Territory may be conducted by complying with the requirements set out in this section.

Processing of ballot papers received by Australian Electoral Officer

             (4)  The Australian Electoral Officer must scrutinise all the ballot papers received by him or her under paragraph 273(3)(d), and must reject the informal ones.

Determining election result

             (5)  The Australian Electoral Officer must then ascertain the successful candidates, and their order of election, by using a computer to apply the principles set out in subsections 273(8) to (32) (inclusive). A tie at any step in the process is to be resolved in the same way as a tie in the corresponding step is resolved under section 273.

Rights of scrutineers

             (6)  For proceedings under section 273 and subsections (4) and (5) of this section, the requirements of paragraph 265(1)(c) are met if the scrutineers have access to:

                     (a)  a record of the preferences on the ballot papers that have been received by the Australian Electoral Officer and whose details have been stored in the computer (including informal ballot papers, and formal ballot papers that are not sequentially numbered); and

                     (b)  a record of the ballot papers that are notionally transferred, or exhausted, at each count; and

                     (c)  a record of the progress of the count of the votes, at each count.

Statements setting out numbers of ballot papers

          (6A)  After complying with subsections (4) and (5), the Australian Electoral Officer must make, sign and keep a copy of a statement (which may be countersigned by any scrutineers who are present if they so desire) setting out the number of ballot papers scrutinised by the officer under those subsections.

Modified rules for re-count

             (7)  If ballot papers that are to be re-counted under section 278 are in the possession of the Australian Electoral Officer immediately before the re-count begins, the Australian Electoral Officer must deal with those ballot papers as follows:

                     (a)  open the containers (for those ballot papers that are in containers) in the presence of a person appointed or engaged under the Public Service Act 1999 and of any scrutineer who attends;

                     (b)  scrutinise all the ballot papers, and make a decision on each one either to admit it or reject it;

                     (c)  after scrutinising all the ballot papers, restore the ones that were in containers to their original containers, and place the remaining ballot papers in one or more containers;

                     (d)  seal up all the containers and write on each container:

                              (i)  the number of ballot papers in the container; and

                             (ii)  a statement that all the ballot papers have been the subject of decisions by the Australian Electoral Officer;

                     (e)  sign each container and permit other persons who were present when the ballot papers were scrutinised to add their signatures.

             (8)  If:

                     (a)  a re-calculation by computer occurs following a re-count; and

                     (b)  during the re-calculation, the same tie that occurred on the previous calculation by computer occurs again;

for the purposes of the re-calculation that tie is to be resolved in favour of the candidate in whose favour it was resolved during the previous calculation.

             (9)  If a re-count is required under section 282, the Australian Electoral Officer must conduct the re-count by using a computer to apply the principles set out in subsections 273(8) to (30) (inclusive), modified in the way set out in section 282.

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