The count done so far is the "Two Candidate Preferred" (TCP) count, known as "the dirty count". The AEC HQ sends a sealed envelope to each Divisional Returning Officer containing the AEC's prediction of who the two leading candidates will be, as described here - www.aec.gov.au/faqs/counting.htm#tcp
Prior to election day, the AEC predicts who the two candidate preferred (TCP) candidates will be in order to enable the TCP count for each of the 151 divisions across the country to be conducted on election night.
The TCP prediction is often based on previous election results within the relevant division. If, after the count, it becomes clear the predicted TCP candidates are incorrect, the AEC will mask the results from the TCP count on the Tally Room. This is referred to as a TCP Exception.
A fresh TCP count will be conducted and preferences distributed to the correct two leading candidates in the days following the election night count.
At the moment the "fresh scrutiny" is being carried out. From the same web link...
The initial scrutiny (count) of House of Representatives ballot papers conducted at the polling place on election night is followed by a 'fresh scrutiny' conducted at a divisional out-posted centre in the days following election day.
The fresh scrutiny is a re-check of all ordinary House of Representatives ballot papers received from every polling place, pre-poll voting centre and mobile polling team within a division.
The fresh scrutiny is an important step, required by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Electoral Act), to further ensure the accuracy of the counting process. The fresh scrutiny is a process managed by permanent AEC staff.
That fresh scrutiny carries on for 13 days from 22/05 (until June 4) while Declaration Votes trickle in from pre-polls and postal votes. Declaration Votes are described here - aec.gov.au/Voting/polling.htm
What is a Declaration Vote at a polling place? You are issued a declaration vote if your name and/or address details cannot be found on the certified list used at the polling place at which you have come to vote, or if your name has already been marked as having voted.
The envelope used to seal your ballot papers is called a declaration vote envelope. Your declaration vote ballot papers are inserted into the envelope and forwarded to the division in which you are claiming enrolment. The envelope has a counterfoil which is removed and filed in a 'declaration records' folder. This is a record that you voted at that particular polling place. You 'declare' that you are entitled to vote by signing the envelope.
There are two types of declaration votes issued at a polling place. An absent vote will be issued to you if you are not on the certified list because your enrolled address is outside the division.
A provisional vote will be issued to you if you are claiming to be enrolled for an address within the division but if: your name cannot be found on the certified list, your name on the certified list is already marked as having voted, your name is on the certified list but not your address (silent elector), or your identity cannot be confirmed after additional questions have been asked Then comes the Distribution of Preferences. From the first link...
The distribution of preferences is the final result of the House of Representatives election and consists of a series of candidate exclusions. The distribution is achieved by progressively excluding candidates with the least number of votes. The exclusions continue until only two candidates remain.
An example of a distribution of preferences is available.
The distribution of preferences takes place in every electoral division as required by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. The distribution of preferences does not commence until the counting of all ballot papers has been completed.
In Moreton tallyroom.aec.gov.au/HouseDivisionPage-27966-173.htm#profile, when I checked at 1639 on 24/05, 69,808 votes had been counted. Scroll right down to "Declaration vote scrutiny progress" and check "Envelopes issued - total". That figure is 31,201 - and at this point 21,382 have been received back but only 5,994 ballot papers have been counted plus 926 envelopes rejected. It's probable that the 5,994 + 926 are included in the 69,808 votes counted in the dirty count + fresh scrutiny so far, and if so that leaves (31,201-[5,994+926])= 24,281. 69,808 + 24,281 = 94,089 potential ballots.
Then it's only the difference between 90.92% and 87.82%.
With all of that said, of course left-wing activists would try very hard to win the casual and permanent AEC jobs and I don't trust them as far as I could throw them - which is why scrutineers are so vital. However, with the decline in the volunteering spirit it's very hard to find and train scrutineers...
Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said … the AEC remains on track to return the writs to the Governor-General on or before 28 June 2022.
AEC update: Progress of the count
It’s been almost a week since election day, and the count is progressing in centres all around the country, with the vast majority of first preferences counted and having undergone fresh scrutiny.
Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said that despite some anticipated staff shortages due to COVID-19, the AEC remains on track to return the writs to the Governor-General on or before 28 June 2022.
“Our motto for the count is ‘right, not rushed’,” Mr Rogers said.
“The count is progressing well and it is likely that the results in some seats will start to be declared from mid-next week. This can only occur once it becomes mathematically impossible for any other candidate to win.”
The AEC can receive postal votes until the close of business next Friday, 3 June.
“In a number of seats, the margins are so thin that the AEC will need to wait until we have received and counted all allowable postal votes before distributing preferences and declaring a result.”
For further information about the count, check out our FAQs on the AEC’s website.
The enemy have us surrounded. Good! Now we know where to find the bastards! -various