‘119 per cent counted’: ECQ stuff-up drags on
The Currumbin by-election result may not be known for a week, as the ECQ website continues to malfunction, displaying more than 119 per cent of votes had been counted in certain local government areas.
The ECQ website last night stated 119 per cent of votes has been counted in the election of Bundaberg Regional Division 4 Councillor, while 114 per cent of votes had reportedly been counted in the region's Division 9 election.
A spokesman from ECQ said maintenance was being conducted on the website late last night and the issue was expected to be resolved by Tuesday.
It follows major count delays on Saturday night, in which the commission's website would not update the latest count numbers.
The count for the critical Gold Coast seat was last night still too close to declare, although the LNP's Laura Gerber was ahead of Labor's Kaylee Campradt on first preferences with 68 per cent of votes counted.
It came as both major parties requested a notional distribution today that would allow them a clearer idea of how preference flows will impact on the result.
But it's understood 600 postal votes still need to be counted before that could happen, with many more postal votes still arriving by mail.
The parties are still unclear how preferences will flow, with how-to-vote cards outlawed during the campaign due to concerns around the spread of coronavirus.
It means preferences could wildly fluctuate, unlike previous polls.
The long wait comes as the ECQ were directed to explain the cause of major count delays on Saturday night.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath said she would receive a report from the ECQ.
"The ECQ is reviewing the circumstances of Saturday night's delays and I'll be getting a full report into what happened once all counting has been finalised and the results are declared," she told The Courier-Mail.
But Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said Queenslanders were tired of excuses and pointed to a previous review of the 2016 local government elections that found many of the same issues.
Undertaken by former Brisbane Labor Lord Mayor Jim Soorley, it found "problems in the conduct of both the elections and referendum related to technology, communication, the postal voting system, the roles and management of returning officers and other staff, staffing numbers, training of staff and the organisation of the ballot process on the ground".
"Queenslanders are tired of Labor's excuses, they just want it fixed so this farce doesn't happen again," Ms Frecklington said.
"In the midst of a global crisis, the last thing Queenslanders need is our democracy compromised.
"The Premier needs to take responsibility, she has already done a review but it has only gotten worse."
Originally published as '119 per cent counted': ECQ stuff-up drags on