Ginninderra electoral “count-back.”

Ginninderra electoral “count-back.”

And so, I (briefly) find myself a candidate for Ginninderra again…

The resignation of former Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope from the ACT Legislative Assembly on 16th May, 2011 has created a casual vacancy in the electorate of Ginninderra.  Under the ACT’s Hare-Clark electoral system, casual vacancies are filled by a “count-back” of the remaining unsuccessful candidates from the last election.  Of course, those candidates must still meet the eligibility requirements and submit an application form if they wish to be considered for the “count-back.”

On the 19th May, I received an invitation from Elections ACT to apply to be part of the “count-back” process; and announcing the subsequent publication of the casual vacancy in the Canberra Times.  I am pleased to say that I do meet the eligibility requirements and on Friday, 27th May, I successfully lodged my application form for the “count-back.”

Once again, a member of the Australian Democrats is seeking election to public office.

The process is thus:

  • the person must have been a candidate for that seat in the last ACT Election;
  • the person must have not been elected;
  • the person must meet the eligibility requirements under the Electoral Act 1992;
  • the appropriate form must be correctly lodged with Elections ACT by midday, 10 days after the publication of the vacancy in the Canberra Times (so, 30th May, 2011);
  • if he/she is the only candidate who applies; he/she is declared elected;
  • if more than one candidate applies; the “count-back” is conducted by Elections ACT;
  • during the “count-back” the ballot papers of the vacating MLA are redistributed to those candidates who have applied to contest the vacancy;
  • votes are distributed until the preferences exhaust. If there is still no winner, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated until a candidate achieves 50% + 1 (ie. an absolute majority) and is declared elected;
  • the electoral commissioner, Phil Green, tells me the “count-back” is all done by computer and takes about 30 seconds (so, as I have said above – I am briefly a candidate again);
  • if no-one applies to contest the casual vacancy, it is filled by a nomination from the same party as the vacating MLA.  This point does not apply in this instance because I have applied, and there may be others.

I stand by the promises I made during the 2008 Election (subject to any that may have been superseded by events).

The “count-back” will take place on Monday, 30th May at approximately 12.30pm.  The Declaration of the Poll will occur on Wednesday afternoon, 1st June at 3.00pm.

I am grateful for this opportunity.  I will do my best to be an effective Member for Ginninderra, if the “count-back” should determine me elected.

Darren Churchill

Australian Democrats endorsed, “Ungrouped” candidate for Ginninderra (2008) in the Ginninderra “count-back” 2011.

0412 196 473

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