Friday 28 November 2014
For immediate release
Vote counting for the 2014 State Election
Recent media reports suggest that the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) will not be working on the Sunday after election day and that votes cast before election day will not be immediately counted.
In clarifying the situation, Electoral Commissioner, Warwick Gately, said: ‘The idea that VEC staff will not be working on Sunday is wrong. All votes taken on Saturday and a large number of postal votes will be counted and reported that night. After that attention will shift to the processing of early votes, which in some cases will occur overnight but mostly on Sunday. There will be around 3,000 casual staff working in many locations across Victoria on the Sunday and for the five days after, continuing their processing and counting activities’.
Acknowledging that around 800,000 early votes have already been cast, Mr Gately said: ‘Early votes are dispersed across the State, interstate and overseas and must be sorted to their district and region, reconciled, amalgamated and then counted. Early votes cast outside an elector’s district must be packaged, secured and distributed to the relevant district for counting. Given the large number of early votes, this process is now more complex, but is necessary before any counting can occur’.
The process in managing early votes reflects the requirements of State law and sound operational practices such that the security of ballot papers is preserved at all stages.
As was the case in 2010, where an election result is dependent on a few close seats, the VEC will bring processing and counting forward for specific districts and provide additional staff in support on Sunday.
With a large casual workforce involved in election day activities, including post-election counting and reporting, strict procedures need to be followed at all stages. Mr Gately said ‘While I understand the community’s desire for a quick result, the VEC must balance speed with accuracy and I have an obligation to provide a result that has integrity and can withstand the closest scrutiny. Victorians would expect no less’.
Members of the media are invited to attend any one of 56 election offices to observe post-election day early vote handling and processes. To arrange attendance, please call Mary Sammut, Communication Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org, on 8620 1190 or 0457 740 022.
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Communication, Education & Research Branch
Victorian Electoral Commission
Phone: (03) 8620 1190