The head of the Australian Electoral Commission, Ed Killesteyn, and his most senior colleague in Western Australia have quit in the wake of the state's bungled Senate election.
Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson announced on Friday that Mr Killesteyn had formally tendered his resignation to Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
The High Court this week declared last September's West Australian Senate result void - paving the way for a fresh election in the state - after more than 1300 ballot papers went missing during the counting process.
Mr Killesteyn is currently on personal leave and will remain on leave until his resignation takes effect on July 4.
Deputy electoral commissioner Tom Rogers will act as commissioner.
''Events in Western Australia mean that the Australian Electoral Commission must regain the confidence of the community,'' Senator Ronaldson said in a statement.
''The government will in due course announce a new electoral commissioner who will be charged with the restoration of that confidence.''
Peter Kramer, the Australian Electoral Officer for Western Australia, who acts as the returning officer for Senate, also quit on Friday. His resignation will take effect from May 9 however his last day of work will be February 28.
Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer, who has been a fierce critic of the AEC for losing the ballot papers, said Mr Killesteyn had done the right thing by resigning.
''He has done a very honourable thing and has accepted responsibility, because responsibility did rest with him, to ensure the good security of Australia ballots and the protection of democracy,'' he told Fairfax Media.
Mr Palmer said he felt sympathy for Mr Killesteyn but it was important that he be held accountable.
''I don't feel responsible for it, the responsibility rested with AEC and the commissioner, it didn't rest with me. I think it is part of the process of ensuring integrity of the electoral system, giving us faith in the system and the people who administer it," he said.
''The AEC has a bigger problem than just one person. I hope the new electoral commissioner will take immediate steps to change how the system operates."
Last year, Mr Killesteyn apologised unreservedly for the lost ballots.
''The gravity of this situation is not lost on me,'' he said.
Senator Ronaldson has previously been highly critical of the AEC's loss of the ballots.
Last October, he said he had informed Mr Killesteyn of his "strong view that this situation is totally unsatisfactory and that I, as the responsible minister, view this matter very dimly".
On Friday, Labor spokesman Gary Gray said it was his understanding that Mr Killesteyn had always intended to leave his role before the next federal election, due in 2016.
''Ed Killesteyn is an outstanding public servant. His service over past decades has been of the highest calibre,'' he said.
''The last months have been a difficult time, and Mr Killesteyn handled them with great integrity and with a concern for the proper functioning of the Electoral Act.''
Mr Killesteyn was appointed as electoral commissioner in January 2009, and last year Labor extended his term for another five years beginning in January.
He was been a senior executive at the Department of Veterans' Affairs and a senior executive in the Department of Immigration during the time of the Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez Solon scandals.
The story Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn resigns after bungled WA Senate vote first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.