More than 50,000 votes for the RACV election have already been received
but the inflow has slowed to less than 1,000 votes a day ahead of
Thursday’s 5pm close of polling. The biggest rush saw 11,000 ballots arrive on one day, but this was just after RoyalAuto arrived in more than one million letter boxes across Victoria four weeks ago.

However, it’s fair to say that Victoria is not gripped by RACV
election excitement. The voting hotline, 1300 365 699, has been
averaging 3 calls a day but we did get it up to 10 on one day after
urging the Crikey army to call through and ask for another ballot paper
if the RoyalAuto had already been binned.

Believe it or not, but Mrs Crikey, back-at-work barrister Paula Piccinini, is firming as a good chance to win one
of the two seats, along with incumbent and fellow lawyer Suzanna Sheed. The two blokes,
incumbent John Rawlins and yours truly, will probably miss out – and I’m
tipped to come last.

Such is the excitement in the Crikey household about Paula’s prospects,
we were busily
letter dropping the local suburb this weekend and have ordered another
four boxes of ballot papers for distribution today and tomorrow. An
estimated 16,000-18,000 votes should carry the day but it will probably
be very tight so every last vote will count.

Scrutineering begins at 10am on Friday morning and we’re delighted to
have secured the services of Crikey psephologist Charles Richardson who
should be able to tell us in time for that day’s edition whether Paula
has pulled off an unlikely coup in her first contested election for
anything. There will be about 25 people scanning the ballot papers for
an estimated five hours and the RACV board will be informed of the
outcome some time after 3pm.

I’ll probably be adding the embarrassing “can’t even beat my wife”
claim to the “Australia’s most unsuccessful candidate” title, with this
likely to be failed tilt number 26 since it all begin with the Burwood
by-election in December 1999.

However, engineering a tilt that saw Mrs Crikey knock off an incumbent
director would be a huge coup, although we’re now hearing that former
Tricontinental director John Rawlins is actually one of the better
directors who has been pushing for the RACV Club to surrender its
ridiculous gerrymander over the 1.3 million service members who create
far more value.

The 17,000-member Club has a vice-like grip over the entire RACV because
surrendering its clear majority of nine out of 15 directors would
require a constitutional change approved by 75% of those voting at the
AGM and only Club members can vote. That’s how disenfranchised service
members really are.

If anyone fancies joining Charles and the Crikey family at Laverton
North for some scrutineering on Friday, drop us a line. Similarly, if
you need a ballot paper sent out please email [email protected]
before last mail today at the absolute latest.

Despite plenty of false dawns over the years, I’m more confident about the prospect of success in this tilt than any
other, so get your ballot in promptly and make your contribution to a
possible palace coup.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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