Libs ahead in senate vote

With state, federal and local government elections all held within the last 13 months, there were concerns voter fatigue would lead to a low turnout.

WA previously recorded the lowest turnout in the country during September’s federal election, recording just under 93 per cent voter participation.

Australian Electoral Com- mission media spokes-man Phil Diak said there seemed to be a trend emerging.

‘Recent average House of Representative by-elections have averaged a turnout of around 80 per cent,’ he said.

Overall, most chose against copping a $20 fine for not voting with the majority of the 1.48 million people registered to vote pushing any apathy aside and casting their vote at one of the more than 700 polling places across Western Australia.

Mr Diak said the outcome of the election to nominate six senators to federal parliament would not be known for some weeks, but early indications have the Liberals taking two seats, with Labor, the Australian Greens and the Palmer United Party snagging one each.

The prized sixth seat remains up in the air.

‘The April 22 (cut-off) for any late arriving postals is part of that calculation,’ he said.

‘All votes including below the line votes need to be counted and checked before the computerised distribution of preferences is conducted.’

Residents at the RAAFA Estate Merriwa voted for the third time in the Senate election re-run after an issue with a ballot box last week.

An AEC mobile polling team attended the residential aged care facility on March 31 and identified that there was a problem with the construction of the ballot box in its possession.

The team applied a temporary solution, but the container used was later found to be not fully secure in accordance with the requirements of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

The affected residents were considered not to have voted in the election and were therefore required to do so again.