What are some examples of problems with our electoral rolls and what impact did they have?

What are some examples of problems with our electoral rolls and what impact did they have?


Here are just two examples where the rolls are letting down candidates and voters

In 1988, Joan Chambers lost her seat of Ballarat-South by 104 votes. From 1979 to 1982 the number of people on the electoral roll matched the numbers in the population census. In 1985 a discrepancy of 2000 people occurred. By the 1988 election there were around 5000 more names on the roll than in the census.  After the election the investigation of  one third of  the roll found 1506 suspicious names and addresses, of  which the Electoral Commissioner confirmed 1081 did not exist as eligible voters. They also found 106 people voted twice, 367 people voted who did not live in the electorate.

In the 1995, Queensland state election, the ALP's Ken Davies initially won the state seat of Mundingburra by just 16 votes. Later the Liberal Party candidate  Frank Tanti uncovered some extensive cases of fraudulent alteration of the electoral roll.

Following a hearing by Judge Ambrose in the Court of  Disputed Returns, November 1995, it was found that there had been significant faults made by the Electoral Commission officials, namely, people who were not residents and, therefore, ineligible to vote in that electorate had done so. It was also found that the votes of 22 soldiers serving in Rwanda had not been received before voting day. In light of this evidence the July 1995 result was overturned.

When most of the anomalies had been corrected, the By-election, in February 1996, was held and won by Tanti by 1084 votes, 1100 more than received in July ‘95. The loss of the one seat majority meant that the Goss government was replaced by a Liberal National Coalition government, led by Robert Borbidge.

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  • commented on Compulsory voting 2023-09-14 22:49:29 +1000
    John de Wit, less empty negative comments please.

    I’m happy to answer real questions if you’re not yet clear how DCAP works to guarantee fair results. I sympathise – it took me ages to fully understand why current voting systems fail voters and then years to work out how to correct it and then to twig to the simple maths behind it and finally to be able to give simple examples that demonstrate it.

    E.g. it is not obvious that my DCAP system is correct when it will declare that Party D, of 4 parties standing, and with 45% first preferences is the winner despite Party A having 51% first preferences. But that is correct IF, repeat IF, in the election Party A had 49% of 4th (or LAST) preferences and party D had 55% of 2nd preferences. I have proved that particular case, no matter what preferences parties B and C get within the values I specified. Can anyone prove me mathematically &/or logically wrong there? No way! The correct Proportional results in a 100 seat electorate is NOT A=51 seats and D=45 Seats. The correct results is A=27 Seats and D=41 seats with B&C sharing the remaining 33 seats.

    So, it will not be a majority Government for A in its own right. Rather, it will be a minority government, of probably D in coalition with B or C; or, a slim chance of A running a minority government. Apart from the speculation of who will arrange a coalition; who can logically prove I’m wrong and that that voters preferences showed that they collectively wanted A as a majority government? It can’t be done unless you ignore voters’ clear collective preferences. The fact is that a marginal “absolute majorities” may be a real win; or, a travesty of electoral justice simply because Distribution of Preferences (AKA Instant Run Off) and First-Past-The-Post systems are inherently incapable of guaranteeing a fair result.

    I have proved that. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

  • commented on Compulsory voting 2023-09-14 16:55:04 +1000
    Peter Newland,
    Your arithmetic is very complex compared to a single vote for the party of your choice. There is no assumption that you should agree with every policy of that party. You just choose the party and candidate you think is best.

  • commented on Compulsory voting 2023-09-14 16:17:29 +1000
    For those interested, the simple arithmetic to convert my earlier example with preferences
    1 2 3
    A 40 0 60
    B 40 60 0
    C 20 40 40
    into number of seats earned under Proportional Preferential counted by Borda or DCAP
    First, Preference AVerages (PAVs)
    PAVa = (40×1 + 0×2 + 60×3)/100votes = 2.2
    PAVb = (40×1 + 60×2 + 0×3)/100votes = 1.6
    PAVc = (20×1 + 40×2 + 40×3)/100votes = 2.2
    B, with PAV = 1.6 is clearly the closest to unanimously first preference of PAV=1.
    A and C tie for second place with PAVs = 2.2.
    A’s downfall is that it is significantly more unpopular than it is popular.

    Then, to translate that into seats, first calculate DCAP scores where
    DCAPa= 40, DCAPb=70, and DCAPc=40 , which adds to 150.
    So, scaling that to the 100 seat vacancies and with rounding (arbitrarily, in favour of 1st preference tallies to remove the dead heat for 2nd place),
    we get A=27 seats, B=47 seats and C=26 seats.

    For more explanation, including on Borda, see https://tinyurl.com/ElectoralReformOz starting with the 1-page [Absolute Majority v Democracy.pdf] and then perhaps browse the [0-Voting Reform – how … ] directory.

  • commented on Compulsory voting 2023-09-14 15:21:54 +1000
    John de Wit, those arguments are seriously flawed.
    Using Proportional Representation without Preferences, as you propose, effectively assumes that a vote for a party totally agrees with that party and has no preference for any of the other parties. No wonder people are reluctant to vote under such conditions – who could possibly endorse every policy of a party???

    More to the point, the arguments you gave in no way refutes my proof that Preferential Proportional representation adds value because it is well able to discriminate between parties with equal primary votes based on the collective preferences of the voters.