Australia Queensland elections counts drag on, plagued by 'technical' issues

21:45  28 march  2020
21:45  28 march  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Chinese star not guilty of Sydney rape

  Chinese star not guilty of Sydney rape Chinese movie star Yunxiang Gao, once called the "Chinese Hugh Jackman", has been found not guilty of the rape of a woman inside a Sydney hotel.A jury on Thursday found actor Yunxiang Gao and producer Jing Wang not guilty of sexually assaulting the woman at the Shangri-La Hotel in March 2018.

a person holding a sign: Cairns voter Ben Canty came prepared to the polling station. (ABC News: Brendan Mounter) © Provided by ABC NEWS Cairns voter Ben Canty came prepared to the polling station. (ABC News: Brendan Mounter)

Up to 800,000 Queenslanders who were eligible to vote in one of the 77 local government elections, and two by-elections held this weekend may not have voted.

The 77-78 per cent voter turnout fell well short of the 2016 local government election, in which 83 per cent of voters cast a ballot.

The figures provided to the ABC by the Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) were:

Sydney railway rampage suspect denied bail

  Sydney railway rampage suspect denied bail A Sydney man who allegedly went on a violent rampage at Central Station has been denied bail in the NSW Supreme Court.Zachary Anderson was denied bail when he appeared in the Supreme Court on Monday over the February 27 incident.

  • 3.3 million voters were eligible
  • Around 1.2 million voted at a pre-poll
  • 570,000 people applied for a postal vote — there's no indication yet how many of these were returned
  • 750,000 voters turned out on the day

After the polls closed at 6.00pm, the count was also plagued by technical issues.

The results for Brisbane's lord mayor and councillors massively stalled, with the Electoral Commission's website displaying only a tiny percentage of the votes counted.

Late last night the ECQ website updated to say 23 per cent of the preliminary count had Adrian Schrinner ahead with 45 per cent, and Labor's Pat Condren sitting on 31 per cent.

The Greens' Kath Angus had received 16 per cent.

Mr Schrinner said his scrutineers were advising him Mr Condren couldn't win, but he did not declare victory.

Motorists face hours of delays as Queensland's borders are locked down

  Motorists face hours of delays as Queensland's borders are locked down Police roadblocks were rolled out at Queensland's Gold Coast at precisely 12.01am on Thursday as the state shut down its borders for the first time in more than 100 years. Cars heading north on the M1 towards Brisbane were directed off the highway and questioned by police, although most vehicles with Queensland registration plates were waved through. The last time the state restricted its borders was in 1918, during the Spanish flu pandemic."Of course the traffic was a little different back then, it wasn't cars, it wasn't trucks; it was probably horse and buggy on a track," Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said.

Mr Condren said it was too early, and that he took his figures from the ECQ and not Mr Schrinner's scrutineers.

At the close of the count at 10.00pm, some seats showed counts of less than 1 per cent.

On the Gold Coast, the count fared slightly better, with incumbent Mayor Tom Tate hopeful he would be returned to head up the council.

"Tonight, it's too early to call given the percentage of votes counted. That said, I'm delighted to have 54 per cent of the primary vote so far," Mr Tate said.

An 'absolute farce'

Parties told the ABC that despite the votes being counted, they weren't being updated online.

The Electoral Commission was also criticised for technical issues that caused a massive delay in the public recording of votes.

The ABC's chief election analyst Antony Green said that by 7:30pm — an hour and a half after the polls closed — the number of votes counted for Lord Mayor was "incredibly low".

Voting chaos in Queensland ahead of local council elections

  Voting chaos in Queensland ahead of local council elections With less than 24 hours to go before the Queensland local council elections some pre-polling places are seeing wait times of up to 20 minutes. 9News gave a stopwatch to one voter at an Indooroopilly polling place and it took them 19 minutes and 46 seconds to cast their vote.The lines are expected to be longer on election day tomorrow.Just days ago the electoral commissioner told ABC radio it would take most people three minutes to complete the process.

By 8:18pm, Mr Green said the way the count was being tallied in "dribs and drabs" made it very difficult to provide sensible analysis.

Later still, at 9:10pm, a Labor source told Mr Green that in the Currumbin by-election, the Returning Officer might resort to giving them a piece of paper with results on it as an update.

One insider described the process as an "absolute farce."

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said she would be pushing for changes to the election process.

"The Labor Government needs to urgently review the legislation around postal voting because by closing them 10 days ago has prevented countless Queenslanders having their say," she said.

"Because of the impact of the coronavirus, there was a very low voter turnout today and it may be days before we know what the final result is."

Incumbents hold in early results

Early results in the state's two by-elections indicated voters stuck with the incumbent parties.

The seat of Bundamba near Ipswich had been comfortably held by Labor for decades and it appeared candidate Lance McCallum will retain the seat for the party.

One dead, one critical after separate Queensland road crashes

  One dead, one critical after separate Queensland road crashes A driver is dead and a motorcycle rider is critical after two separate traffic crashes in southeast Queensland overnight A man has died and a motorcycle rider is in a critical condition in hospital after separate crashes in south-east Queensland.A car was travelling on Springfield Road at Burpengary, north of Brisbane, about 12:15am Sunday when it left the road and hit a power pole.The driver and sole occupant, a 31-year-old man from nearby Morayfield, died at the scene.Earlier, a motorcyclist was left in a critical condition when his bike hit a median strip on Johnson Road at Hillcrest.

He held a comfortable lead over the One Nation candidate, with about 35 per cent of the vote counted.

But Mr McCallum wasn't claiming victory on election night.

"There is a lot of counting to be done and any confidence will be premature," he said.

"The early numbers are positive, but it's clear that we're not going to get a result this evening.

"There's a record number of postal votes to be counted, but I think it's best for all of us to accept that and get some rest and see what tomorrow's going to bring."

The results were less clear in the Currumbin by-election.

Only 3 per cent of votes had been counted, but the early results showed the LNP's Laura Gerber in front.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington fired shots at Jann Stuckey, whose resignation triggered the by-election.

Ms Stuckey had been vocal in her opposition to Ms Gerber's candidature, and had recently quit the party in protest.

"This was a tough campaign for Laura and her family," Ms Frecklington said.

"The unprovoked attacks by Jann Stuckey on Laura has taken an emotional toll on her family."

ECQ commissioner defends integrity of the election

ECQ commissioner Pat Vidgen said the election had been a great turnout, all things considered.

"By and large it's been really good, there have been a couple of incidents but that happens every election so that's not unique," Mr Vidgen said.

"The legislation required people to vote — it's compulsory — so when people don't vote we move into what we call a non-voter program.

"That means we'll make contact with everyone on records who didn't vote, and we enter into a communication with them.

"There's a number of stages in that process, so it's not automatically a fine."

Mr Vidgen said he would only be declaring results when they were mathematically certain.

"Some of the local governments and some of the seats can be declared pretty quickly when the results are clear with the votes we've got, others may take time," he said.

"Our expectation is that this time it will take longer just because of the larger volume of postal votes that are out there at the moment."

ECQ estimated it cost $28 million to run the election.

Facebook and Instagram are back up after some users experienced issues .
Many users reported missing images on the platforms.As of around 2:30 p.m. PT, outages were concentrated in regions including North and South America and Europe.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 0
This is interesting!