The head of the electoral commission has resigned as West Australians head back to the polls for a second senate election.

Australian Electoral Commission head Ed Killesteyn has resigned in the wake of the West Australian Senate vote scandal.

Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson says Mr Killesteyn has formally tendered his resignation to Governor-General Quentin Bryce.

“Mr Killesteyn is currently on personal leave and will remain so until his resignation takes effect on July 4 this year,” Senator Ronaldson said in a statement.

The electoral commissioner’s resignation comes after the High Court this week ordered a fresh Senate election for WA following the loss of 1370 votes after the initial count from last year’s federal election.

Because of the close result, a full recount was ordered but the loss of those votes meant it could not be conducted properly.

Deputy Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers will act as Electoral Commissioner for now.

“Events in Western Australia mean that the Australian Electoral Commission must regain the confidence of the community,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“The government will in due course announce a new Electoral Commissioner who will be charged with the restoration of that confidence.”

Senator Ronaldson said Mr Killesteyn had a long and distinguished career in the public service and he wished him well for the future.

Mr Killesteyn became electoral commissioner in January 2009 and was subsequently reappointed for a further five-year term starting from January 2014.

Before joining the AEC, he held a number of senior public service positions in the Australian Taxation Office, immigration department and Repatriation Commission.