The Victorian Electoral Commission has refused to publish submissions made to the various Local Government Electoral Representation Reviews. The submission is critical of the conduct of the Victorian Electoral Commission's administration of the 2006 State Elections and its management of the Local Government review.
A statement made by Ms Sue Lang, representing Steve Tully - Victoria's Chief Electoral Commissioner, indicated that the VEC would not be publishing the submission.
The Victorian Electoral Commission's refusal to publish the submission has once again brought the conduct of the Victorian Electoral Commission and the Victorian Local Government review into disrepute.
The submissions are similar to previous submissions that have been published by the Victorian Electoral Commission except that the current submission includes a section that is critical of the Victorian Electoral Commission's administration and management of the 2006 Victorian State Election. Information that is relevant to the Local Government Electoral Representation Reviews.
Information obtained under Freedom of Information legislation has indicated that the software currently used by the Victorian Electoral Commission in determining the results of the election has not been fully certified.
The City of Melbourne in 2004 had paid the Victorian Electoral Commission over $100,000 for software development. Presumably similar amounts have been paid by other Local Council's and the State Government in what is a very expensive software development project. The fact that the software has not been fully certified and there are a number of short falls in it's design and implementation raises concerns in relation to exactly what has the Victorian Electoral Commission spent the money on.
The conduct of the November 2006 Victorian Legislative Council election had identified a number of serious errors in the administration and counting of the ballot indicating that the system put in place by the Victorian Electoral Commission were not fully tested and does not meet industry standards. Problems associated with the conduct of the State election was further compounded by the refusal of the Victorian Electoral Commissioner to publish detailed results of the State Election (including the number of postal and pre-polling votes issued and returned prior to November 25, recorded below-the-line preference data and the Commission's refusal to published the detailed polling place results of the Victorian Legislative Council).
The software used by the Victorian Electoral Commission in the conduct of the State Election is the same software used for Local Council elections.
The Local Government Minister has yet to respond to the complaint.
The Victorian Local Government Election Regulations clause 110 (4) states “Before calculating the result, the returning officer must reconcile the electronic record of ballot papers with the total number of ballot-papers received".
This is something that was clearly missing from the November 2006 Victorian State Election and not accounted for in the software used to determine the re4ulst of the State Election.
Had the VEC reconciled the electronic record of ballot papers with the total number of ballot-papers received the significant number of errors in the conduct of the election count would not have occurred. A complete lack of due diligence on behalf of the Victorian Electoral Commission