Senator David Leyonhjelm says the Outdoor Recreation Party may seek legal action over the bungle.
Senator David Leyonhjelm says the Outdoor Recreation Party may seek legal action over the bungle. LUKAS COCH

Legal action considered over online voting glitch

MINOR parties are threatening legal action after being omitted from the "above-the-line" section of the electronic ballot for the New South Wales election.

About 19,000 votes were received before the NSW Electoral Commission realised the Animal Justice Party and the Outdoor

Recreation Party had been left off the top section.

In a preferential system, it is a major concern. Voters who do not wish to number their preferences can take the easy option and just write "1" next to the party they favour - above the line.

The NSW Electoral Commission paused voting for about five hours while it sorted out the glitch.

"The iVote Legislative Council ballot paper now correctly shows group voting squares for Groups B and C. We apologise for any inconvenience," a statement on the website said.

Despite the error, all 19,000 votes received before the fix will still be accepted.

Senator David Leyonhjelm, the registered officer for the Outdoor Recreation Party, said that the Elect-oral Commission could face a legal stoush if the blunder adversely affected candidates' chances.

"If we lose by a small margin, then it's likely we would seek recourse in the Court of Disputed Returns," he said.

"We were already unhappy with the commissioner because we would like to be running in the election as the Liberal Democratic Party.

"We sought to change the name and they wouldn't allow it. For this to come on top is just rubbing salt in the wound."

It was a similar tale from Animal Justice Party secretary Mark Pearson.

He said the micro-party's campaign had been running well, and that Labor had approached it for a preference deal even before going to the Greens.

"It's clearly a disadvantage," he said.

"We will wait for the writs to be returned, and if we're on a knife-edge and don't get into parliament, then we're off to the Supreme Court.

"We don't want people to go back to the polls - that won't make us very popular - but if it's close, we think the Electoral Commission should do it themselves."