‘Missing’ ballot papers reported amid election mishaps
Candidates in last weekend’s local government election have flagged worries about a possible second lapse by the WA Electoral Commission.
Deputy Shire president Julia Meldrum said she had spoken with ratepayers who claimed they had never received postal ballots. The news follows an error late last month when more than 500 ratepayers were told to tear up Kalgoorlie-Boulder ballots mistakenly sent to Augusta-Margaret River Shire property owners.
“The 21-day election period is already a tight timeframe and certainly when there are errors as we have experienced this election — the Kalgoorlie-Boulder debacle — it will directly affect the result,” Cr Meldrum said.
A WAEC spokesman said no other mistakes affected the election, with two known instances of a resident left off the electoral roll who later had voting papers supplied. “It should be noted that at local government elections in particular, the local government or the WAEC will often get people indicating they did not receive their package when in fact they are not on the electoral roll,” he said.
WAEC said the confusion was “quite common” in the Augusta-Margaret River Shire bec- ause of absentee landlords.
Trumped candidate and former City of Perth chief executive Frank Edwards said missing papers could have affected the vote for the fourth spot, won by Cr Ian Earl.
Former deputy Shire president Kylie Kennaugh said she heard many complaints.