Five ways Gladstone voters botched their vote

THERE have been plenty of voters who knowingly threw away their right to be part of the democratic process this election.   

However there are many who appear to have done so by mistake too and others whose votes have to be counted by hand.  

>> Number of votes that didn't count rises to 9.5%

Some voters, whose votes didn't count, simply drew pictures on their paper or wrote a message to say why they wouldn't vote for any of the candidates.   

The Electoral Commission official wouldn't let us take any pictures of the ballot papers --- some of which were marked with a drawing of men's genitalia --- but here is a list of five ways Gladstone voters made it difficult for those counting the ballot papers this election.  


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1. Too many numbers   

Using the numbers one through to eight makes it easy for those counting to check if you have filled out your ballot paper correctly, but there is no need to go past eight.   

Many of the ballot papers counted in Gladstone have been numbered up to nine, 10 or even 21.    That means they can't be counted by machine.   

2. Messy writing

Writing on the ballot paper needs to be neat. If your vote has been numbered one through to eight, but the eight looks more like a nine then it won't be counted in the overall result.   

Neat writing makes it easy to check and the ballot can be processed by the machine.   

Some of the writing on ballot papers being counted at the moment are too messy.   

3. Wrong box

This election there were three separate boxes; one for mayoral ballots, one for councillors and one for the State Referendum.   

Today there was a pile of mayoral ballot papers sitting on the table that had been pulled from the councillors' ballot box.   

Making sure your paper goes in the correct box goes a long way to making it easier for the people counting.   

4. Changing your mind

Think carefully about your choices before you start making marks on the ballot paper because if you change your decision and cross one selection out, that ballot has to be counted by hand.   

There were quite a few ballot papers where the voters had scrubbed out their first selection.  

5. Extra marks on the paper

Crossing out the candidates you don't want to vote for also means your ballot can't be counted by machine.   

Some of the councillors' ballot papers had lines next to candidates that weren't given a number.  

This can make it difficult for those counting to see which candidates won your vote.  

Follow this reporter on Twitter @helenspelitis

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