kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
[personal profile] kirby1024
I know I have a few people with political experience in my circles, and while I was watching the Election coverage last night, a question came to me.

How, exactly does the vote counting work?

Specifically, I'm wondering, do all the votes get taken to a central facility, or are they counted at the polling booth? I keep hearing of booths being counted pretty much at end of polling, and it seems to me that, especially in the rural electorate, it would have to take a fairly significant amount of time for the voting papers to get couriered to the tally room. If they're all being sent to a central counting room, the rural polling booths (especially in seats like Katherine, where there must be a huge number of very isolated polling stations) would barely get to the counting room before end of the election coverage.

And yet, we get counts for them on the night. So... How do the logistics of vote counting work?

In terms of actual reaction to the results? As much as I absolutely loathe the idea of Abbott in power, I suspect that even if he is in power, the Greens in the senate (and the House of Reps! Yay! Congrats all round to Adam Bandt!) will probably cause all manner of consternation for him. Even if he becomes PM, this is not a win for him, and the next few years are likely to be a horribly frustrating experience for him. I don't think it's quite time to start booking flights out of Australia just yet.

If Gillard wins she's likely to have a much better time of it, and I suspect that also, we're much more likely to get an ETS and Gay Marriage out of Labor with the Greens holding balance of power.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-22 11:52 am (UTC)
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
They count them at the polling stations.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-22 11:55 am (UTC)
halloranelder: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloranelder
There are designated counting rooms for this, where the full ballot boxes are taken. In city electorates there won't tend to be many, as they will be close to each other, while in rural electorates there will most likely be lots of counting rooms.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-22 11:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] omnot.livejournal.com
From my experience working as a polling official (Just as a name-crosser; the phrase "Have you voted before in this election" has passed my lips many times more often than would have otherwise been the case) I can tell you that when the doors of the polling place are locked at 6pm, nobody goes in or out of the venue.

The ballot boxes are opened in the middle of the hall in full view of the officials and scruitineers, and we sort them out into piles, leaving the ambiguous ones aside. We count them on the spot, knowing that they will be taken and re-checked, clearly there would be no point in misrepresenting the numbers. And to be honest, the people I've known who work at the elections like that are committed to following the rules, doing our job right, doing what we can to ensure that each voter gets to cast their vote their way, that every vote is counted and that we get it all sorted out and packed up so we can get home at a reasonable hour. If working in a place with a big count, it really pays to ensure that the pizza delivered before the place is locked up.

The results are phoned through to the AEC by the senior polling official, the ballots are re-secured and placed into the vehicle which has been designated to convey them to the next point of aggregation on their trip to the central tallying point. Once the ballots have been shipped out, the polling place is unlocked and we all go home.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-22 12:06 pm (UTC)
ext_3749: (Kirby Crayon)
From: [identity profile] kirby1024.livejournal.com
Thankyou muchly! I was rather hoping you'd answer, since I knew you'd worked previously as an election official. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-22 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] being-bec.livejournal.com
Thank you, that was really interesting! (And ta Kirby for asking in the first place. :) )

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-23 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iosef.livejournal.com
"Wot 'e said".
Scruiteneers represent candidates, and may not tough ballots at any time. They have a right to challenge the interpretation of a vote. Small booths don't take long unless some ***** has walked off with one in their pocket.
Scruiteneers also ring results back to campaign headquarters.

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kirby1024

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