Na­tion­als seek voter surge re­view

Pilbara News - - News - Dy­lan Ca­porn

The WA Na­tion­als have sus­pi­cions about whether a jump in voter en­rol­ments be­fore the State poll could have cost for­mer leader Brendon Grylls his Pil­bara seat and have asked the WA Elec­toral Com­mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate.

Na­tion­als State pres­i­dent James Hay­ward wrote to elec­toral com­mis­sioner David Ker­slake this month, ask­ing for in­sight into a rapid in­crease in en­rol­ments be­tween June and Septem­ber, when 3000 vot­ers were added to the Pil­bara roll.

The 16 per cent in­crease was the big­gest jump in en­rol­ments for a re­gional seat, with neigh­bour­ing seats Kim­ber­ley and North West Cen­tral record­ing less than one per cent growth over the same pe­riod.

Last year, the State Gov­ern­ment passed leg­is­la­tion in­tro­duc­ing di­rect en­rol­ment in WA, where vot­ers on the Fed­eral elec­toral roll were au­to­mat­i­cally in­cluded on the State roll.

Mr Hay­ward ar­gued in the let­ter that be­tween March 2015 and June last year, en­rol­ment fig­ures for the Pil­bara were fall­ing and the ex­tra 3000 vot­ers in the fol­low­ing three months was a clear anom­aly.

“Put it this way, it is a large chunk, and we only missed out by around 500 votes; 3000 new vot­ers is quite an in­cred­i­ble amount of newly en­rolled vot­ers,” he said.

Party cam­paign di­rec­tor Nathan Quigley said the Na­tion­als just wanted to be sure noth­ing “funny” was hap­pen­ing.

“This is the same pe­riod in which Brendon an­nounced his pol­icy in re­la­tion to the spe­cial (iron ore) lease rental and ob­vi­ously dur­ing that pe­riod painted him­self as a very big tar­get,” he said.

An Elec­toral Com­mis­sion spokesman said that as a re­sult of di­rect en­rol­ment, 70,000 vot­ers were added to the State roll.

“In some dis­tricts the rate of en­rol­ment change may be much greater re­flect­ing more tran­sient pop­u­la­tions — such as fly-in, fly­out work­ers and par­tic­u­lar cul­tural groups,” the spokesman said.

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