One moment you're winning the next you're not. This short post outlines another example of an AEC error.
I'm glad I'm not a Senate candidate. I'm glad I'm not actually barracking for any.
Last night I posted about the increasing vote of the Bullet Train and how things were falling into line for a chance of Shooters or Democrats glory. However, this was apparently a mirage.
Today, the votes have reverted - Bullet Train is down about 500 votes. So how could this happen? Additional vote counting yesterday gave Bullet Train 0.8% of additional vote, increasing their overall percentage from 0.205% to 0.218%. This was significant enough to put them ahead of FF and possibly change the overall order of election.
But the AEC have seemingly gone back to the future, reversing the votes of yesterday and changing the space-time continuum of future eliminations. Great Scott!
In hindsight, Bullet Train taking 0.8% of all additional votes counted appears highly fanciful. Without having running snapshots on a booth-by-booth basis, it is hard to tell where this error occurred. However, I would be curious to know what internal controls the AEC has on fanciful voting patterns. To date in this election we have seen:
- 1003 votes miscoded in Indi (although eventually corrected)
- 700+ votes be accidentally missed from the Coolum Beach PPVC booth and recorded elsewhere (although eventually corrected)
- Other odd Senate misapportionments at various times, including this one (although seemingly eventually corrected?)
I am not of a mind to suggest the AEC is corrupt, a disgrace, flawed, or part of some bizarre military conspiracy. On the contrary, the AEC is a professional organisation that gets exceptional results out of temporary and casual staff, and the professionalism of their staff and transparency of information provision leaves the State and Territory electoral commissions streets behind.
But this is not to say there is no possible improvement. It is clear that the AEC does not have "exception checking" built into their processes. Senior AEC staff should be immediately alerted to any discrepancy between the number of:
- House votes
- Senate votes
- Names marked off the roll
in each and every polling booth.
Further intelligent checks should be conducted to ensure the vote % for parties between Senate and House in every polling booth is in alignment. Where there is a discrepancy outside, say, 2 Standard Deviations of the mean variation for each party, these booths should be rechecked and recounted automatically. It would not be hard to quarantine such votes from even making it into the electronic Virtual Tally Room until they have passed a sanity check.
This would ensure that published results at all times reflect the actual number of votes counted.