The uniquely troubled counting process for a federal election now held nearly two months ago has saved its biggest crisis until last.

The Australian Electoral Commission yesterday made the embarrassing revelation that 1375 votes, including 1255 formal above-the-line votes and 120 informal votes, had gone missing during its Western Australian Senate recount. The announcement came as the AEC concluded the recount process and prepared to declare the result, which it is reportedly likely to do on Monday.