The Australian Electoral Commission says today’s Senate election re-run has been “smooth”, despite reports of a series of incidents at polling booths around Perth today.
Speaking after the close of voting tonight, AEC spokesman Phil Diak said the operation of polling booths had gone “pretty well” and the process of counting ballots was now underway.
But Mr Diak refused to comment on reports the Commission had advised political parties a voting bungle at a Perth aged care facility earlier in the week could leave the new Senate vote open to a fresh legal challenge should the final vote be close.
“It’s been smooth running today,” Mr Diak said.
The AEC went into damage control late today after a broken seal was discovered on a ballot box at a polling station at Mahogany Creek.
After the broken seal was discovered, it is understood the returning officer sought the Liberal Party’s scrutineer, who was the only registered scrutineer for the booth.
The scrutineer was eventually found and they inspected the ballot box.
At the same time, a Labor Party campaign worker began filling out a form to register as a scrutineer but was told he could not look at the ballot box.
One source said the returning said words to the effect that they did not want the matter being leaked to the media.
It is understood the AEC is also investigating an incident in which ballot box seal broke at Maida Vale.
The AEC says that in both incidents the integrity of the ballot boxes was maintained.