The Electoral Commissioner, Tom Rogers, said the by-elections in the Divisions of Longman (Queensland) and Perth (Western Australia) have not yet met any of the conditions legally required under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 2018 (the Electoral Act) to enable the AEC to officially declare the polls in these divisions.
“Despite the margin appearing in the two candidate preferred count for Longman and Perth, the leading candidates have not yet achieved an absolute majority of electors enrolled in the division, or a majority of votes cast or first preferences. By law, one of these conditions must be met before we can declare the poll.
“The AEC has counted every vote we have received in the Divisions of Longman and Perth. The declaration votes (postal votes and pre-poll votes cast outside of Longman and Perth) are also being counted after they are received,” Mr Rogers said.
The AEC cannot finalise the count until after 13 days following polling day to allow for declaration votes to be received before officially declaring the polls in Longman and Perth.
A distribution of preferences in Longman and Perth will be finalised to ensure all eligible postal votes are included in the count.
“This is not uncommon, at the 2016 federal election 29 divisions were required to complete a distribution of preferences to enable the poll to be declared.
“We are conscious that federal parliament resumes on Monday 13 August but the poll can only be legally declared when the requirements of the Electoral Act have been met,”
Mr Rogers said.