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Councillors ‘incorrectly’ elected after computer error

The state’s electoral commission says two councillors elected after a ballot in November 2022 were wrongly declared winners due to human and computer error.

Dec 07, 2023, updated Dec 08, 2023
File Photo: ECSA/Facebook

File Photo: ECSA/Facebook

The Electoral Commission of SA (ECSA) said a short time ago that two Adelaide Plains councillors were incorrectly declared winners at the 2022 local government elections.

The two councillors affected were not immediately disclosed.

ECSA said the error stemmed from a problem in the computer software it uses to count votes in complex elections.

The software was used in 25 of the 184 local council elections, ECSA said.

ECSA said it identified the error during its preparation for Wednesday’s court hearing over the disputed results of Adelaide City Council’s Central Ward election.

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“In this case, human error was detected in the settings which has resulted in the incorrect number of ballot papers being distributed from elected candidates for Adelaide Plains Council,” the commission said.

“ECSA has reviewed the results of the 25 elections. For 24 of these elections, there was no change in the members elected when the votes were counted again.

“ECSA is committed to delivering all elections with the highest possible quality control measures in place and is currently reviewing its internal processes and procedures to ensure errors of this nature do not occur again.”

Electoral Commissioner Mick Sherry is considering filing a petition with the Court of Disputed Returns to correct the Adelaide Plains results “to ensure that the results reflect the will of the voters”, ECSA said.

“The Electoral Commissioner has advised Adelaide Plains Council, the affected candidates and council members and is working closely with them to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency,” ECSA said.

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