On by-election night, AEC staff were able to count:
Since by-election night, AEC counting staff have counted approximately a further 7,000 postal votes received back from voters. Australian Electoral Officer for NSW, Mr Warwick Austin, said that all postal votes in the AEC’s possession have been counted.
“Electoral laws allow thirteen days after by-election day for postal votes to get back to us,” Mr Austin said.
“As is normally the case at this stage of a count, we simply have to wait to receive any new votes. We will count the new postal votes that we receive in batches as they arrive but it is fair to expect that there won’t be movement on the tally room every day.”
AEC counting teams are also nearing completion of ‘fresh scrutiny’ requirements – the mandatory secondary count of votes already counted. It is expected that postal votes will be received progressively over the next week but at a slower rate than in the first few days after polling day.
Every election - for a variety of reasons - the number of postal voting packs dispatched by the AEC is greater than the number of completed postal votes that are received back from voters.
The AEC is unable to legally declare a result if the margin is smaller than the maximum number of potential postal votes still to be returned.
Legally, the AEC must wait 13 days after by-election day (Friday 17 July 2020) for postal votes to be received back. An official declaration of the result is therefore likely to occur after this date.