The head of the Illawarra trade union movement was physically escorted off the premises and refused a vote in Labor's controversial Wollongong preselection ballot on Saturday.
South Coast Labour Council Secretary Arthur Rorris was one of a number of long-term ALP members denied a vote in the ballot that saw Wollongong MP Noreen Hay re-endorsed.
Mr Rorris said he "rocked up like any other member" to vote at Cringila's George Cross Club, only to find out he was not on the list.
“This was not a case of one single unfortunate error, there’s a pattern of events that raise serious questions.”
"They claimed I didn't renew my membership on time so there was a continuity issue," he said.
Mr Rorris disputed this claim, saying he had been automatically renewing his Labor Party membership for 20 years.
He said he was initially willing to believe his ineligibility was an administrative stuff-up and asked to put in a "challenge vote" so that his membership could be reviewed and vote possibly counted at a later date. However, this was also denied and he was escorted from the club in front of a number of other members and prominent union officials.
"It was blatant," he said of his party's efforts to refuse his vote.
"This was not a case of one single unfortunate error, there's a pattern of events that raise serious questions."
He said he was "baffled" and had written a letter to ALP general-secretary Jamie Clements to raise his concerns.
"I'm not even angry, I'm just baffled that this could happen," he said. "It's a bit hard to pledge loyalty to a candidate selected by a process I've been denied the ability to participate in."
In recent weeks, the Wollongong preselection has been plagued with allegations of branch stacking, doctored minutes and dodgy attendance books. There were also reports that Sussex Street was "pulling out all stops" to protect Ms Hay from challenger Paul Scully, a Wollongong academic.
Wollongong councillor Ann Martin also ran for preselection.
According to long-term ALP member, and one of Cr Martin's supporters, Kim Sattler, there were "at least 20" rank-and-file members told they were ineligible to vote on Saturday morning.
"I witnessed several veterans of the ALP, some of them elderly, who weren't allowed to vote," said Ms Sattler, the former head of Canberra's union movement.
"They were really upset, they had their valid membership cards and they were turned away. One of them was a woman on a walking frame, who made quite an effort to get there and had no idea she would be refused.
"I'm flabbergasted. People who are 20-year members are not ignorant of the rules, they've been around a long time and know how to vote in a preselection ballot."