Statement: Orange By-Election
The following is a statement on the Orange By-Election.
We are not in a position to declare a result of the Orange By-Election today.
Yesterday, at the close of counting the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party was 84 votes ahead of the National Party. After distribution of preferences at the conclusion of counting today we appear to be behind the National Party by 66 votes.
There have been challenges to the validity of individual votes throughout counting today - as is the normal process - but not to a magnitude of 100 ballot papers.
We believe there is an error in today's count by a factor of 100 votes.
According to our figures, there may be an error in the calculation of preferences from another candidate.
We will return to counting from 9:00am tomorrow, counting the same ballot papers that were handled today.
At this time we have no further comment.
EDIT: We believe the difference being 100 votes because that's how ballot papers are bundled in the counting room. The difference between 84 and 66 could be accounted for by challenges to the validity of individual votes. Then, to go from 66 ahead to 66 behind would require 100 ballot papers to be allocated incorrectly.