26 September 2023

Electoral Commission chasing signage fraudsters

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The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is calling for tips on unauthorised candidate corflute signs (pictured) following their appearance in a number of electoral divisions.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said the signs were a breach of Commonwealth electoral laws as they did not contain an authorisation statement, “a requirement of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to ensure voters know who is communicating with them”.

“The signs depict a range of election candidates in a style that would suggest they have been produced by the candidates depicted,” Mr Rogers said.

“They also feature names and/or logos of political parties that have not formally endorsed the candidates in question – party names that will not feature next to those particular candidates names on ballot papers,” he said.

“In some cases, there have also been unauthorised stickers featuring party logos or statements affixed to the signage of other candidates.”

Mr Rogers said that while there was freedom of political communication in Australian federal elections, authorisation laws were critical and must be adhered to.

“This is a very serious matter and we are exploring all avenues possible to get to the source of the signage,” the Commissioner said.

He said the matter had been referred to the AEC’s Electoral Integrity Assurance Taskforce for investigation.

“As part of this investigation, information is being sought directly from relevant entities and being examined in an effort to determine the source,” Mr Rogers said.

“If anyone has information regarding any of the signage’s placement location, timing of placement or production please provide it via the AEC contact web form.”

He said tip-offs could also be submitted anonymously via the AEC’s dedicated fraud contact options.

The AEC’s contact web form can be accessed at this PS News link and its fraud contact options at this link.

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