One of the hundreds of 'donkey votes' received by the Mackay ECQ office. PHOTO: Nat Bromhead / Daily Mercury
One of the hundreds of 'donkey votes' received by the Mackay ECQ office. PHOTO: Nat Bromhead / Daily Mercury Nat Bromhead

Vote count 'issues' in new technology trialed in Gladstone

NEW "electronic count technology" used to count votes in Gladstone's council election will see the Electoral Commission of Queensland "seriously consider" a recount, according to a legal expert.

The new counting technology is also being trialed in four other local government areas, with reports the machines are over-sensitive to creases and marks, which could be affecting the accuracy of the count.

UQ's Professor Graeme Orr said the ECQ would consider a recount because of the issue of over-sensitivity.

But he also said the ECQ would be inclined to recount votes anyway, as it would test the new equipment's reliability and it wouldn't cost as much as a manual recount.

"It would test the reliability of the equipment, which fits the idea of a trial," he said.

A counting blunder could cost either ninth placed Alex Staines or eighth placed Kahn Goodluck the final spot on council.

But in a statement, the ECQ said the issues had been resolved.

"Some issues have been experienced with reading the marking of the ballot," the statement said.

"This has been directly isolated to the counting of postal votes where the ballot has been crumpled through the mailing process.

"The Commission has reverted to manual counting of postal ballots to ensure results are continuing to be published as expediently as possible."

Prof Orr also stressed candidates don't have a "right" to a recount, even if the result is close.

"There is no 'right' to a recount, nor to formally request one. Of course, a losing candidate can seek to lobby for one."
 



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