Ludlam puzzled by lack of Senate recount

Summary:The voting system for the Senate can be so confusing that it even has Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam puzzled.

Senator Scott Ludlam has lodged an appeal with the Australian Electoral Commissioner (AEC) against a decision not to recount the Senate vote in Western Australia.

"I think we've got really strong grounds, and I'm honestly puzzled as to why we're even having to take the action we are," Senator Ludlam told ABC Radio on Friday.

Initially, he asked for a partial recount after a 14-vote difference between two micro-parties — the Shooters and Fishers Party and Australian Christians — directed crucial preferences away from the Greens and towards the Palmer United Party and Labor.

But the AEC on Thursday decided against a recount, which had also been requested by another defeated candidate, Wayne Dropulich from the Australian Sports Party, saying that there were no "specific issues" that warranted a second look.

Senator Ludlam said it doesn't make sense to him why there is an automatic trigger for recounts in House of Representatives seats but not the Senate.

Recounts in lower house seats are automatic where the the margin is fewer than 100 votes — as is happening in Fairfax, where Clive Palmer won the initial count by seven votes.

Senator Ludlam remains a member of the upper house until June 30, 2014.

Topics: Government : AU, Australia

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