Pre-poll voting for Sunshine Coast local government elections at the Millwell Road Community Centre.
Pre-poll voting for Sunshine Coast local government elections at the Millwell Road Community Centre. Warren Lynam

Council elections hit by monumental blunder

A MONUMENTAL blunder by the Queensland Electoral Commission has enrolled some Sunshine Coast Council voters in the wrong division.

The error affects Divisions One and Three.

The ECQ has written to voters admitting they are incorrectly enrolled in Division Three instead of Division One.

The mistake can't be corrected on electoral rolls before March 19 which means it will be up to individual voters to inform polling booth officials on the day.

ECQ Commissioner Walter van der Merwe in a letter dated March 9, two days after pre-polling booths opened across the Sunshine Coast, has asked those affected to take it with them to the polling booth and to show ECQ staff so that they are issued the correct ballot paper.

Those that fail to do so will end up having their vote allocated to the wrong division.

SUNSHINE COAST ELECTION DIVISIONS EXPLAINED

LATEST COUNCIL ELECTION COVERAGE

How will this affect you? Should there be a new election in these divisions?

Let us know in comments below or email us at editorial@scnews.com.au

 

Should there be a new election called?

This poll ended on 17 March 2016.

Current Results

Yes. We have no idea how this will affect the outcome

22%

No. I can't go through all this again

30%

Yes. But only in these divisions

35%

Depends on how many people are confused

11%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

 

This could prove critical, particularly in Division Three, which is likely - as it was in 2012 - be determined by a narrow margin on preferences.

"An error has been identified in the electoral roll for the upcoming Local Government election on March 19,'' Commissioner van der Merwe wrote to affected Division Three voters.

"A boundary change made following the Local Government Boundary redistribution conducted in 2015 was not reflected correctly in the roll.

"As a result of this error you have been enrolled incorrectly in the Sunshine Coast Council Division Three instead of the division for your address, Division One.

"The error has been corrected for the future however the voter information letter that has been posted to you and copies of the electoral roll already distributed to polling booth locations still contain the incorrect enrolment information and will not be able to be corrected prior to March 19.

"When you attend a polling booth to vote I ask that you take this letter with you so that polling booth staff can ensure that you are issued the correct ballot paper for Division One.

If you do not inform the polling booth staff of this circumstance then you will be issued a ballot paper for the incorrect council division.

"You will be required to complete a Declaration Vote. This will enable the Commission to verify your address and confirm the correct ballot paper was issued to you.

"Your personal details are separated from the ballot material prior to counting to ensure your vote remains anonymous."


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