SOPHIE Mirabella's chances of retaining the Victorian seat of Indi were dealt a blow this afternoon after the Australian Electoral Commission discovered 1003 missing votes for the independent candidate Cathy McGowan.
The votes were found at a pre-polling centre in Wangaratta, with an AEC spokesman telling Fairfax media it was "basically an accounting issue".
"After election night every polling place returns its votes to the divisional counting centre for every electorate," the spokesman said.
"We undertake further scrutiny and further checking of all the votes and all the numbers around it; we do that for every vote.
"In this instance, we found a discrepancy in what were scrutineered and already counted votes ... it's more the transcription error and getting it into our system."
Even without factoring in the missing votes Ms Mirabella, who is expected to take a place on Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott's frontbench is she manages to prevail, continued to trail Ms McGowan by 498 votes on Wednesday afternoon.
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