VEC denies opportunity for proper scrutiny of the Lord Mayor ballot Another Candidate calls for a manual or more open and transparent count

Another candidate has written to the VEC requesting a manual count and or presorting of the ballot papers prior to computer data-entry of preference votes.

Any savings in time by not presorting the ballot into primary votes(Which is debatable) come at the expense of the scrutiny of the electronic ballot denying candidates the right to an open and transparent count.

— Copy of open letter to Bill Lang —

To: “Bill Lang”
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 1:39 PM
Subject: Count of Lord Mayoral vote

Bill,

After consultation with Shelley Roberts we would like to support a manual count of the Lord Mayoral vote. We believe that this will enable a more open and transparent process than the proposed computer only count. We can understand the usefulness of a computer system in the more complex councillor ballot (but even here the presorting, checking and manual count of primary votes would be appropriate). We believe that the straight forward preferential nature of the simpler Lord Mayoral ballot (the same as state and federal lower house ballots) lends itself to a manual count with easier scrutineering. If it is your decision to proceed with a computerised count,we would request that the ballots be at least sorted, checked and counted according to primary vote prior to any data entry.

Nothing in this request should be taken to reflect on or infer in any way a want of confidence in you and your dedicated staff, rather we have a preference for a simple manual count which would avoid any inadvertent mistakes during data processing and allow scrutineers to undertake their role in the more tried and true fashion.

Yours sincerely,

Garth Head
on behalf of Shelley Roberts.
Candidate for Lord Mayor City of Melbourne

VEC’s contempt Bill Lang refuses to ensure that the conduct of the municipal election is open and transparent

The Victorian Electoral Commission is set to repeat some of the mistakes they made in 2006.

Bill Lang, Melbourne City Council’s Returning Officer, has refused calls for the Lord Mayor’s election to be counted manually. There is no justification for a computerised data-entry count. A number of candidates in the election have supported the call for the count to be open and transparent.

If the computer count is to proceed then the VEC should presort ballot papers prior to batching them ready for data-entry.

Whilst there is nothing in the legislation that requires a presorting of the ballot, other then the obligation to ensure that the election is open and transparent, there is nothing that prevents the VEC from presorting ballot papers into primary votes, as is the case in Senate elections.

The election of Lord Mayor of Melbourne is expected to be close and the presorting of ballot papers would significantly assist in the orderly scrutiny of the ballot whilst maintaining an open and transparent counting of the ballot.

Without presorting of the ballot it is impossible to effectively scrutinise a computerised data-entry count of the election.

The Victorian State Parliament in its report on the Conduct of the 2006 Victorian State election had recommended that ballot papers be presorted prior to data entry. (See comments below for copy of extract from the Parliamentary Inquiry)

By refusing to initiate a presorting of the ballot papers the VEC has thumbed its nose at the State Parliament demonstrating its level of contempt and inability to self-regulate the conduct of the election in order to maintain an open and transparent electoral process.

A complaint has been forwarded to the Minister, Richard Wynne and the Victorian Parliamentary Electoral Review Committee.

VEC’s contempt Bill Lang refuses to ensure that the conduct of the municipal election is open and transparent

The Victorian Electoral Commission is set to repeat some of the mistakes they made in 2006.

Bill Lang, Melbourne City Council’s Returning Officer, has refused calls for the Lord Mayor’s election to be counted manually. There is no justification for a computerised data-entry count. A number of candidates in the election have supported the call for the count to be open and transparent.

If the computer count is to proceed then the VEC should presort ballot papers prior to batching them ready for data-entry.

Whilst there is nothing in the legislation that requires a presorting of the ballot, other then the obligation to ensure that the election is open and transparent, there is nothing that prevents the VEC from presorting ballot papers into primary votes, as is the case in Senate elections.

The election of Lord Mayor of Melbourne is expected to be close and the presorting of ballot papers would significantly assist in the orderly scrutiny of the ballot whilst maintaining an open and transparent counting of the ballot.

Without presorting of the ballot it is impossible to effectively scrutinise a computerised data-entry count of the election.

The Victorian State Parliament in its report on the Conduct of the 2006 Victorian State election had recommended that ballot papers be presorted prior to data entry. (See comments below for copy of extract from the Parliamentary Inquiry)

By refusing to initiate a presorting of the ballot papers the VEC has thumbed its nose at the State Parliament demonstrating its level of contempt and inability to self-regulate the conduct of the election in order to maintain an open and transparent electoral process.

A complaint has been forwarded to the Minister, Richard Wynne and the Victorian Parliamentary Electoral Review Committee.

VEC’s contempt Bill Lang refuses to ensure that the conduct of the municipal election is open and transparent

The Victorian Electoral Commission is set to repeat some of the mistakes they made in 2006.

Bill Lang, Melbourne City Council’s Returning Officer, has refused calls for the Lord Mayor’s election to be counted manually. There is no justification for a computerised data-entry count. A number of candidates in the election have supported the call for the count to be open and transparent.

If the computer count is to proceed then the VEC should presort ballot papers prior to batching them ready for data-entry.

Whilst there is nothing in the legislation that requires a presorting of the ballot, other then the obligation to ensure that the election is open and transparent, there is nothing that prevents the VEC from presorting ballot papers into primary votes, as is the case in Senate elections.

The election of Lord Mayor of Melbourne is expected to be close and the presorting of ballot papers would significantly assist in the orderly scrutiny of the ballot whilst maintaining an open and transparent counting of the ballot.

Without presorting of the ballot it is impossible to effectively scrutinise a computerised data-entry count of the election.

The Victorian State Parliament in its report on the Conduct of the 2006 Victorian State election had recommended that ballot papers be presorted prior to data entry. (See comments below for copy of extract from the Parliamentary Inquiry)

By refusing to initiate a presorting of the ballot papers the VEC has thumbed its nose at the State Parliament demonstrating its level of contempt and inability to self-regulate the conduct of the election in order to maintain an open and transparent electoral process.

A complaint has been forwarded to the Minister, Richard Wynne and the Victorian Parliamentary Electoral Review Committee.

One Vote One Value Implementing Change that Counts

Now where had I heard this story before…

Antony Green, ABC Election WHIZ kid, has just confirmed what we have been saying for years.

To top it up he has also done a detailed analysis based on our hypothetical situation designed to highlight and demonstrate the serious flaw in the way in which the Government counts elections.

Using the 2007 Victorian Senate Election results and the “what if” scenario of One Nation preferencing the Liberal Party before the ALP and then the Greens. Under the Government’s flawed system the Greens would have received an added vote bonus of around 7,000 votes. Affirmative Action for minor parties. This is 7,000 additional votes that the Greens did not win but the system gave them. The Greens Candidate would have been elected in Victoria unfairly instead of the ALP’s David Feeney.

Using a correct proportionally weighted system, as we have been advocating, David Feeney’s election would have been secured.

Clearly there is need for change in the way we count the votes

The problem we identified is exponentially magnified when the system is applied to smaller electorates, such as Victoria’s Local Government Elections. For those municipalities that do not have “Above the line” voting the potential of being disenfranchised by the system is even greater.

Last week we made a plea to the State Parliament to address this issue and implement change before the November Poll.

Western Australia has done it now it is Victoria’s turn.

Rather then just fix the problem with the way in which they calculate the Proportional Surplus Transfer Value were are also advocating a fix for the flawed “Segmentation system“. The system in use was designed for larger electorates (Such as the Senate) and was implemented to assist with a manual count. With the advent and use of computer based technology now is the time for change.

We are advocating the “Wright System” a system using a reiterative counting process where the count is reset and restarted following every exclusion, so there is a top down flow of preferences and not a bottom up bias distibution. The Wright System uses a weighted value of the vote based Surplus Transfer formula and addresses the serious inbuilt shortcomings that Steve Tully and the VEC have ignored. (Prefering to play “Shadow Pupperts” using the EMC’s projector to fixing potential problems)

Extract from Antony Greens submission to the Federal Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters

One Nation had lodged a preference ticket that had Labor ahead of the Liberal Party, with the Greens last. If One Nation had put the Liberal Party ahead of Labor on the ticket, then when Family First was excluded, Labor’s David Feeney would not have reached a quota and the preferences of the Liberal Party’s surplus to quota votes would have been distributed.

What is even more remarkable is that if One Nation had put the Liberal Party ahead of Labor, then the Greens’ Richard Di Natale would have won the final vacancy, not Labor’s David Feeney.

This would have occurred due to the formula used by the AEC to weight votes when determining the preferences of surplus to quota votes. There are different methods in which preferences can be weighted. The purpose of this discussion is to look at the different ways in which votes could be weighted and the impact this can have on a Senate Count.

One Vote One Value Implementing Change that Counts

Now where had I heard this story before…

Antony Green, ABC Election WHIZ kid, has just confirmed what we have been saying for years.

To top it up he has also done a detailed analysis based on our hypothetical situation designed to highlight and demonstrate the serious flaw in the way in which the Government counts elections.

Using the 2007 Victorian Senate Election results and the “what if” scenario of One Nation preferencing the Liberal Party before the ALP and then the Greens. Under the Government’s flawed system the Greens would have received an added vote bonus of around 7,000 votes. Affirmative Action for minor parties. This is 7,000 additional votes that the Greens did not win but the system gave them. The Greens Candidate would have been elected in Victoria unfairly instead of the ALP’s David Feeney.

Using a correct proportionally weighted system, as we have been advocating, David Feeney’s election would have been secured.

Clearly there is need for change in the way we count the votes

The problem we identified is exponentially magnified when the system is applied to smaller electorates, such as Victoria’s Local Government Elections. For those municipalities that do not have “Above the line” voting the potential of being disenfranchised by the system is even greater.

Last week we made a plea to the State Parliament to address this issue and implement change before the November Poll.

Western Australia has done it now it is Victoria’s turn.

Rather then just fix the problem with the way in which they calculate the Proportional Surplus Transfer Value were are also advocating a fix for the flawed “Segmentation system“. The system in use was designed for larger electorates (Such as the Senate) and was implemented to assist with a manual count. With the advent and use of computer based technology now is the time for change.

We are advocating the “Wright System” a system using a reiterative counting process where the count is reset and restarted following every exclusion, so there is a top down flow of preferences and not a bottom up bias distibution. The Wright System uses a weighted value of the vote based Surplus Transfer formula and addresses the serious inbuilt shortcomings that Steve Tully and the VEC have ignored. (Prefering to play “Shadow Pupperts” using the EMC’s projector to fixing potential problems)

Extract from Antony Greens submission to the Federal Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters

One Nation had lodged a preference ticket that had Labor ahead of the Liberal Party, with the Greens last. If One Nation had put the Liberal Party ahead of Labor on the ticket, then when Family First was excluded, Labor’s David Feeney would not have reached a quota and the preferences of the Liberal Party’s surplus to quota votes would have been distributed.

What is even more remarkable is that if One Nation had put the Liberal Party ahead of Labor, then the Greens’ Richard Di Natale would have won the final vacancy, not Labor’s David Feeney.

This would have occurred due to the formula used by the AEC to weight votes when determining the preferences of surplus to quota votes. There are different methods in which preferences can be weighted. The purpose of this discussion is to look at the different ways in which votes could be weighted and the impact this can have on a Senate Count.

One Vote One Value Implementing Change that Counts

Now where had I heard this story before…

Antony Green, ABC Election WHIZ kid, has just confirmed what we have been saying for years.

To top it up he has also done a detailed analysis based on our hypothetical situation designed to highlight and demonstrate the serious flaw in the way in which the Government counts elections.

Using the 2007 Victorian Senate Election results and the “what if” scenario of One Nation preferencing the Liberal Party before the ALP and then the Greens. Under the Government’s flawed system the Greens would have received an added vote bonus of around 7,000 votes. Affirmative Action for minor parties. This is 7,000 additional votes that the Greens did not win but the system gave them. The Greens Candidate would have been elected in Victoria unfairly instead of the ALP’s David Feeney.

Using a correct proportionally weighted system, as we have been advocating, David Feeney’s election would have been secured.

Clearly there is need for change in the way we count the votes

The problem we identified is exponentially magnified when the system is applied to smaller electorates, such as Victoria’s Local Government Elections. For those municipalities that do not have “Above the line” voting the potential of being disenfranchised by the system is even greater.

Last week we made a plea to the State Parliament to address this issue and implement change before the November Poll.

Western Australia has done it now it is Victoria’s turn.

Rather then just fix the problem with the way in which they calculate the Proportional Surplus Transfer Value were are also advocating a fix for the flawed “Segmentation system“. The system in use was designed for larger electorates (Such as the Senate) and was implemented to assist with a manual count. With the advent and use of computer based technology now is the time for change.

We are advocating the “Wright System” a system using a reiterative counting process where the count is reset and restarted following every exclusion, so there is a top down flow of preferences and not a bottom up bias distibution. The Wright System uses a weighted value of the vote based Surplus Transfer formula and addresses the serious inbuilt shortcomings that Steve Tully and the VEC have ignored. (Prefering to play “Shadow Pupperts” using the EMC’s projector to fixing potential problems)

Extract from Antony Greens submission to the Federal Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters

One Nation had lodged a preference ticket that had Labor ahead of the Liberal Party, with the Greens last. If One Nation had put the Liberal Party ahead of Labor on the ticket, then when Family First was excluded, Labor’s David Feeney would not have reached a quota and the preferences of the Liberal Party’s surplus to quota votes would have been distributed.

What is even more remarkable is that if One Nation had put the Liberal Party ahead of Labor, then the Greens’ Richard Di Natale would have won the final vacancy, not Labor’s David Feeney.

This would have occurred due to the formula used by the AEC to weight votes when determining the preferences of surplus to quota votes. There are different methods in which preferences can be weighted. The purpose of this discussion is to look at the different ways in which votes could be weighted and the impact this can have on a Senate Count.

The Wright System Advocating change that counts

The current electoral system that is used to elect representatives to the Australian Senate and the Victorian Upper-house is outdated and contains some serious flaws in the way the vote is counted.

The system was designed to facilitate a manual count and in the trade-off has inbuilt distortions in the election process that have the potential to effect the overall outcome.

With the coming November Municipal poll where many councils will for the first time also be adopting the system used to elect the Senate and Victorian Upper-house the potential for the results of the election to be effected by the flaws in the system are increased exponentially

The Western Australian Government has realised the impact of this error and has acted partially to correct the mistakes in adopting a system for its upper-house elections, but the Victorian and Federal Government are yet to follow in the WA steps.

WA has made one step forward but there are more steps that should be taken to improve the system and ensure that the outcome of the election reflects the voters’ intentions.


To try and address the shortcomings of the system in place we have made a submission to both the State and Federal Parliament advocating change. Change that would see the implementation of what we have named The Wright System. (Named after the late Jack Wright author of “Mirror of a Nations Mind” and past President of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia.)

The Wright System advocates the use of a formula used in the calculation and distribution of a Candidates Surplus in a proportional representation count based on the value of the vote as opposed to the number of ballot papers .

The system also recommends the adoption of a reiterative count process where the count is restarted and recounted following any exclusion of any unsuccessful candidates whose votes are to be redistributed.

Copies of the submission and rules of the proposed count can be found on our sister site http://melbcity.topcities.com/

The Wright System Advocating change that counts

The current electoral system that is used to elect representatives to the Australian Senate and the Victorian Upper-house is outdated and contains some serious flaws in the way the vote is counted.

The system was designed to facilitate a manual count and in the trade-off has inbuilt distortions in the election process that have the potential to effect the overall outcome.

With the coming November Municipal poll where many councils will for the first time also be adopting the system used to elect the Senate and Victorian Upper-house the potential for the results of the election to be effected by the flaws in the system are increased exponentially

The Western Australian Government has realised the impact of this error and has acted partially to correct the mistakes in adopting a system for its upper-house elections, but the Victorian and Federal Government are yet to follow in the WA steps.

WA has made one step forward but there are more steps that should be taken to improve the system and ensure that the outcome of the election reflects the voters’ intentions.


To try and address the shortcomings of the system in place we have made a submission to both the State and Federal Parliament advocating change. Change that would see the implementation of what we have named The Wright System. (Named after the late Jack Wright author of “Mirror of a Nations Mind” and past President of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia.)

The Wright System advocates the use of a formula used in the calculation and distribution of a Candidates Surplus in a proportional representation count based on the value of the vote as opposed to the number of ballot papers .

The system also recommends the adoption of a reiterative count process where the count is restarted and recounted following any exclusion of any unsuccessful candidates whose votes are to be redistributed.

Copies of the submission and rules of the proposed count can be found on our sister site http://melbcity.topcities.com/

The Wright System Advocating change that counts

The current electoral system that is used to elect representatives to the Australian Senate and the Victorian Upper-house is outdated and contains some serious flaws in the way the vote is counted.

The system was designed to facilitate a manual count and in the trade-off has inbuilt distortions in the election process that have the potential to effect the overall outcome.

With the coming November Municipal poll where many councils will for the first time also be adopting the system used to elect the Senate and Victorian Upper-house the potential for the results of the election to be effected by the flaws in the system are increased exponentially

The Western Australian Government has realised the impact of this error and has acted partially to correct the mistakes in adopting a system for its upper-house elections, but the Victorian and Federal Government are yet to follow in the WA steps.

WA has made one step forward but there are more steps that should be taken to improve the system and ensure that the outcome of the election reflects the voters’ intentions.


To try and address the shortcomings of the system in place we have made a submission to both the State and Federal Parliament advocating change. Change that would see the implementation of what we have named The Wright System. (Named after the late Jack Wright author of “Mirror of a Nations Mind” and past President of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia.)

The Wright System advocates the use of a formula used in the calculation and distribution of a Candidates Surplus in a proportional representation count based on the value of the vote as opposed to the number of ballot papers .

The system also recommends the adoption of a reiterative count process where the count is restarted and recounted following any exclusion of any unsuccessful candidates whose votes are to be redistributed.

Copies of the submission and rules of the proposed count can be found on our sister site http://melbcity.topcities.com/