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Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

Rorting the electoral system

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The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is a joke. Pencils were first used in the days when pens and inkwells would have been too messy. The AEC should be informed that ballpoint pens have since been invented and the marks can’t be erased or altered.

When attending to vote, the voter is asked ‘Have you already voted today?’ Would anyone say they had?

Then you are asked for your name and address. You might have a neighbour or friend who hasn’t time to stand in line to vote so you do them a favour and give their name and address and vote in their name, then go back to the end of the line or go to another polling place and do your own vote. Nobody checks any ID, so it’s an open go.

Your name is crossed off the electoral roll only at the polling place you vote. If you are a candidate’s little helper you can then go and vote at every other polling place in his/her electorate. You will get a fine of $20 (a bargain for, say, a dozen votes). These multiple votes will have been counted and the candidate elected before the AEC discovers them.

One clever rort much used by political parties is voting in the name of recently deceased persons whose names have not yet been crossed off the electoral roll.

I emailed the AEC to ask about how they kept check on deceased persons’ names and the told me that they were informed by relatives. I’m sure that the first thing any person would think of when a loved one passes away is to inform the AEC to delete their name from the electoral roll – not.

I asked the AEC why it is not mandatory that voters must show identification. The answer was that it would need an act of parliament for that to be implemented.

Is there any reason that all voting places in an electorate cannot be linked by computer so that when a voter’s name is crossed off the roll in one voting place it is automatically crossed off at all the others?

What is needed to keep elections more honest is ballpoint pens, voters to show ID and the electoral roll electronically connected within electorates.

It is up to the public to demand that this is enacted by parliament because sure as heck the politicians won’t do it unless they are forced to.

Peggy Balfour, Mullumbimby

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  1. Peggy is right, I’ve used a ballpoint pen at polling for the last 50 years. The checks are called for in this day & age where manipulating the outcome of an election is easily done, (seat by seat)……………………….


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