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Informal votes down

Tuesday, 5th July, 2016

Election analyst Peter Bartley says there has been greater awareness about how to cast a valid vote this year. Election analyst Peter Bartley says there has been greater awareness about how to cast a valid vote this year.

By Michael Murphy

Broken Hill voters cast almost half the number of informal votes at the 2016 federal election compared to the previous one.

A ballot that has not been completed properly is considered an informal vote and not counted towards any candidate.

Silver City polling booths collected 766 invalid votes for the House of Representatives, 734 fewer than 2013.

The Blende Street booth - which included pre-polling - scored the most null votes with 314, while the booth at Burke Ward Primary came second with 137.

Informal votes accounted for 6.7 percent of all the votes cast at Broken Hill booths, beating the candidates for the Christian Democratic Party and the Online Democracy Party.

Election analyst Peter Bartley attributed the lower informal vote in Broken Hill to greater awareness about how to vote.

“I think there has been far more publicity because of the changes in the senate voting from earlier this year,” Mr Bartley said. 

“There has been a greater emphasis by the Australian Electoral Commission to try and explain at all points of contact with the public on how a valid vote is cast.”

Staff at polling booths this election explained how to vote when they took names from the electoral roll.

Across the Parkes electorate, 81,955 votes were cast, 4,438 of them were informal, representing 5.14 percent of all votes.

The AEC said 11 million votes were counted on polling day, with the rate of informal voting on the House of Representatives ballot paper about 5 per cent, down from 5.9 per cent in 2013.

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