Australian Electoral Commission presents case for fresh WA Senate election


The likelihood of Western Australian voters returning to the polls for a fresh Senate vote should be known soon, with a hearing into last year’s ballot underway in Melbourne.

The Australian Electoral Commission is seeking to have the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, declare the WA Senate result void because 1370 ballot were lost.

The WA Senate count has been mired in controversy with the commission conceding in October that ballot papers had been misplaced.

The AEC opened proceedings on Wednesday saying that the loss of 1370 ballots made the accuracy of the result, which was produced two different counts, hard to assume.

The first count saw Palmer United Party candidate Zhenya “Dio” Wang and Labor’s Louise Pratt elected in the fifth and sixth spots. But after the second count  – declared on November 4 – the Sports Party’s Wayne Dropulich and the Greens’ Scott Ludlam edged out Mr Wang and Senator Pratt.

There have been petitions to the court arguing that the original result should be upheld.

The case is expected to take at least two days.

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