The Sept 7 Australia election 2013 closes at 6 pm sharp, but those who were already in queue can still cast their votes.
As the big day for all Australians closes to its end, voters await for the bigger day: the announcement of results.
Counting of Votes
According to the Australian Electoral Commission , the counting of votes start on the election night itself for those votes cast through home divisions. This is to be conducted immediately after the voting closes at 6 pm on Sep 7. The pre-poll voting conducted in different voting centres also starts during the same time.
The counting is called "scrutiny" through which both the ordinary ballot papers and pre-poll ballot papers were counted on the very night of the election date.
The "scrutiny" is being conducted by "scrutineers" nominated by the candidates themselves.
After the election closes at 6 pm, polling officials have four major responsibilities to be done during the election night itself:
- count the first preferences on the House of Representatives ballot papers
- conduct a two-candidate-preferred count of the House of Representatives ballot papers
- count the first preferences on the Senate ballot papers
- count and sort any declaration vote envelopes received during the day (these remain unopened).
Tentative Announcement of Results
From the Monday after the Election Day, Sep 9, "scrutiny" of declaration votes is counted in each divisional office.
Declaration votes consist of those votes that where cast outside the home divisions, i.e. absent votes and postal votes.
At the home division where these absent votes were made, a "pre-scrutiny" is done in order to see if these votes are valid. Those votes which passed the "pre-scrutiny" will undergo the final scrutiny and will then be included to the valid votes to be counted.
By Sep 20, at 6 pm, all Declaration Votes should be received in the relevant home division.
In Nov 13, all writs should be returned, and the new Parliament must sit not later than 30 days after Nov 13.
*A writ is a document commanding an electoral officer to hold an election, and contains dates for the close of rolls, the close of nominations, the polling day and the return of the writ. The Governor-General issues the writs for House of Representatives elections and the State Governors issue writs for States' Senate elections.
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