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Free and Fair?

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Well, the election is done and dusted, or so they say.

The election has been called by the media and of course, that is really all we must worry about. They want a result on election night so they will have all the experts call it. After all, it makes for good TV and there is much to discuss.

However, what is not being discussed is the question marks surrounding this free and fair election.

Also, the counting of literally millions of postal, pre-polling, and absentee votes is yet to take place so the calling of the election is somewhat premature.

Steve Dickson and Rebecca Lloyd running for the Senate in Queensland uncovered some highly irregular practices by AEC officials. Numerous officials they and their staff spoke to by phone and in person about filling in the ballot paper told them many different stories but they all revolved around misinformation regarding the Independent candidates.

Information that may have been accidental, uninformed, questionable, or downright misleading. If it was misleading this is a federal offense and carries a jail sentence.

The Dickson-Lloyd media manager is currently doing an exceptional job following up on this issuing of incorrect information and we are in constant contact with her.

The AEC officials have stated not just in one seat but others as well that you could not vote for grouped independents above the line. Some even suggested these Independents had pulled out of the race, were leftover names on the ballot paper from a previous election, and other equally incorrect statements.

All this led to complaints being made to the AEC and the Australian Federal Police before the election. Potential charges under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 – Sect 330, False statements in relation to rolls and Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 – Sect 329, Misleading or deceptive publications, etc. are being investigated at the time of publication of this article.

We have received multiple complaints numbering in the 1,000s of this information being told to voters on the day of the election despite the AEC stating they would send correct instructions to all polling officials.

A cameraman on 21st May, election day, recorded a video of an official specifically telling him he couldn’t vote in the box for Steven Dickson or Rebecca Lloyd.

This video was uploaded with a request for people to send any evidence of the same or similar things occurring where they were voting.

Steve Dickson’s Facebook page now has 100s of people willing to provide statements either video or audio recordings of AEC staff telling voters they could not vote for the independent candidates.’

We have heard this occurred similarly to two Victorian candidates as well. Morgan C. Jonas and Monica Smit both grouped Independents have confirmed the same situation occurred with many of their voters in pre-poll and on election day.

It appears electoral officials were at best untrained and uninformed on the correct process of counting and allocating preferences.

Scrutineers and official counters have reported preferences were completely ignored in many counting locations. Rather than go through the correct preference allocations they were immediately allocated to either Labor or Liberal candidates. Presumably, this was done to save time but when questioned the officials had several answers but all ignored the questions being asked.

The election day may have come and gone but certainly, the questions raised will take many days to follow up and clarify what exactly happened in our ‘free and fair election.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I wanted to make a change on my senate vote. According to the AEC you can ask for a new ballot paper if you make a mistake. When I did 2 officials refused to give me a new ballot paper and told me to just cross out and write next to it. That of course would make my ballot look like it was tampered with and invalid. Knowing this I decided to make my vote count and made no changes.

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