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Tasmanian Election: Ballot paper printing glitch forces investigation

Pulse Tasmania
Polling day for the 2024 State election is Saturday 23 March. Image / TEC

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission (TEC) has spent the last week working to resolve an issue with ballot papers for the division of Lyons.

The “printing issue” came to light following the start of the early voting period earlier this month and is believed to have affected up to 20 postal voters.

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“Ballot paper stock is produced in advance of an election, commencing as plain white paper, with a security colour wash applied. A different colour is used for each of the five divisions,” the TEC said.

“An initial batch of ballot papers for postal and pre-poll voting was produced … [before] it was identified that one ballot paper for the division of Lyons had not received the TEC security wash.”

An investigation found that one batch of ballot paper stock used for the division was affected, with approximately one in every 100 sheets not receiving the required colour wash.

Polling day for the 2024 State election is Saturday 23 March. Image / TEC

“This batch was immediately quarantined. A full audit of Lyons ballot papers in pre-poll centres was conducted and a small number of unwashed (white) papers were identified, removed and quarantined,” the TEC said.

“Prior to the issue being identified, all 1,997 General Postal Voters (GPVs) in Lyons were posted ballot paper material … it is possible that approximately 20 of these ballot papers may not have received the appropriate security wash.”

A team has been actively working to locate those who may have been impacted and has issued secondary ballot packs to all 46 identified overseas electors as a precaution.

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“While this error may affect a small number of electors, the TEC takes the issue very seriously. The Electoral Commissioner unreservedly apologises and is especially concerned to ensure that no electors are disenfranchised as a result of this printing error.”

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