FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER “Demanding a new election”

FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE AUSTRALIAN ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER

 

Regarding the conduct and counting of the 2016 Federal election.

 

10th of July 2016

By email; Trudi.Fenton@aec.gov.au

Copy sent; Paul.Langtree@aec.gov.au

Dear Electoral Commissioners

Re; Formal Complaint

 

Formal petition link; https://www.change.org/p/australian-electoral-commission-australians-demanding-a-new-election-2016?recruiter=11899917&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=des-lg-share_petition-custom_msg&recuruit_context=fb_share_mention_control&fb_ref=Default

 

I am writing in response to numerous complaints regarding the conduct of the 2016 Federal election, complaints I have received from people across Australia which raise concerns in relation to the conduct the counting and the advice given to voters from electoral commission staff and the advice given by Centrelink on behalf of the AEC.

I would like to remind the commission of the legal precedent “Woodward V Sarsons” which enables a common-law argument to invalidate a general election if the conduct of the election strays too far from the legislative provisions, to enable it to be considered an election at law.

To date the many complaints I have received, concur with the many media reports that also expose a variety of conduct issues including but not restricted to;

  • People being turned away from polling booths without being allowed to vote due to a deficiency in ballot papers. (231. Right of elector to receive ballot paper)
  • People being asked to tick of their names, even though they were unable to cast a vote due to again an absence of ballot papers in numerous polling booth locations.
  • People in a variety of location being unable to vote due to a lack of access to polling booths and or mobile polling services.
  • People missing out on their vote due to irregularities in the maintenance of the electoral roll.
  • People being given unauthorised ballot papers. (missing the official marks required for formal acceptance) therefore deeming making valid votes informal under electoral law.
  • The opening of ballot boxes before the end of the voting period, causing all said ballot papers to be informal.
  • People being asked to hand ballot papers to polling workers because the ballot boxes were full, unacceptable under the electoral act.
  • People in remote communities missing out on voting because of polling booth closures and a lack or transport services.
  • ADF (Australian defence employees) missing out on their votes due to restrictions in mobile polling services
  • Complaints from enrolled voters undergoing hospitalisation missing out again due to mobile polling cutbacks and a lack of credible mobile polling services.
  • Postal ballot applications being delayed due to political interference with the application process.
  • People being provided with the wrong ballot papers for electorates outside of their areas and in some cases outside their state.
  • Ballot boxes not being correctly sealed as per the electoral act laws.
  • Ballot boxes unattended which had been ripped open to allow easy access.
  • Absentee voters missing out on their votes, due to a shortage of absentee ballot papers.
  • Counting and scrutiny issues being reported by polling booth staff and scrutineers.
  • Incorrect voting information being provided by polling booth staff and centre link workers to voters across the nation.
  • Voters being told they could not vote with a pen.
  • Voters arriving to find their names missing from the electoral rolls, then denied their right to vote.
  • Reports of missing ballot papers in the final count averaging 25% of the total vote cast.
  • Reports of counting irregularities in both houses.
  • Voter intention on all senate ballot papers being unable to be ascertained as a result of being provided wrong information about formal voting procedures.
  • Many candidates being nominated and contesting the election, that were allowed by the AEC to be nominated and contest the election even though at law they should have been declined by the AEC due to holding offices of the crown or having an allegiance to a foreign power.
  • Polling booth workers not asking the required questions before providing a ballot paper.
  • Media blackout laws were being ignored by several political parties
  • Postal workers exposing issues processing postal ballot papers due to the interception of applications by the Liberal party.
  • The issue of pre-poll and postal ballot papers to voters that did not meet the legislative criteria to be issued these services.
  • Issues exposed relating to security at polling booths.
  • The Major parties handling postal ballot applications, which were intercepted by their offices rather than the reply paid envelopes being addressed to the commission.

 

I therefore lodge a formal complaint and call for a full investigation into these issues, irregularities and the general handling of the election conduct.

(Questions as to why electoral laws were changed the day before the election are also being raised?)

 

  1. How many ballot papers were printed and how many have been accounted for?

 

1a; How many ballot papers were printed and have they all been accounted for?

 

  1. Why did the commission close hundreds of polling booths?

 

2a; how many polling booths were removed from service in comparison to the 2013 and 2010 elections?

 

  1. Why was the commission forced to utilise centre link voters to answer AEC enquiries and what training were they provided to those workers.

 

  1. What advice was recommended to polling workers in relation to the new senate voting laws?

 

  1. Is the AEC going to make a formal complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, regarding the thousands of breaches of the media blackout laws?

 

7a; Does the commission believe that the breaches of these rules has affected the election outcome?

 

  1. How many postal ballot applications were handled by the major parties?

 

  1. Was it lawful for the Liberal party to intercept and open postal ballot applications before on sending them to the Electoral Commission?

 

  1. Why did polling booths run out of ballot papers, when voter attendance was down some 20 to 30%?

 

  1. Why some voters were not asked the required questions before receiving their ballot papers (229. Questions to be put to voter)

 

  1. How many voters were denied a ballot paper or their right to vote? (Section 231.  Ensures the right of elector to receive ballot paper)

 

  1. Why were how to vote papers being left in polling booth voting areas?

 

  1. Will the commission allow their employees to come forward with their complaints without taking legal action against them under their present employment contracts?

 

  1. How many voters were allowed to mark their names of as having voted, that were denied ballot papers?

 

  1. How many polling booths reported running out of senate ballot papers?

 

  1. How many polling booths reported running out of absentee ballot papers?

 

  1. How many polling booths closed early due to running out of ballot papers?

 

  1. How many hospitals were denied mobile polling services in 2016 compared to the 2013 and 2010 federal elections?

 

  1. How many nursing homes were removed from the usual mobile polling services?

 

  1. How many polling booths were closed down in comparison to 2013 and 2010?

 

  1. Did all the absentee and postal ballot applications in line with the legislative requirements?

 

  1. What is the commission position in the massive increase in informal votes?

 

  1. What is the Electoral position relating to the massive sudden increase in none attendance?

 

  1. Why were voters, in particular absentee voters given conflicting advice on voting formally?

 

  1. Do you personally believe the election conduct was in line with your personal expectations?

 

  1. How many voters deliberately missed out on their vote as a direct result of reduced voting/polling services?

 

  1. How much funding was cut to the AEC during this election process compared to 2013 and 2010.

 

  1. How many permanent positions were axed between 2013 and 2016.

 

  1. How many pre-poll/postal applicants applied for AEC services?

 

  1. What we’re polling booth staffs expectations when and if a voter spoiled a ballot paper?

 

  1. What as the extent of training provided to Centre link workers and casual polling staff?

 

  1. How many voters received incorrect ballot papers?

 

  1. How many ballot papers under scrutiny did not have the official mark?

 

  1. How many ballot boxes sustained damage?

 

  1. Will the commission be ignoring electoral law and counting senate and other ballots that do not have the required mark? (209A.   Official mark)

 

  1. How many ballot boxes were not correctly sealed and how many were opened and tampered with prior to the closing of the polls.

 

  1. Why did the commission excuse electoral advertising laws and black out times?

 

  1. What reason does the electoral commissioner give for the sudden rise in informal ballot papers?

 

  1. What reasons does the electoral commissioner give for the huge lack of attendance of around 3 million voters?

 

  1. Will those candidates whose names appeared on ballot papers, but were ineligible to run as a candidate still receive electoral funding?

 

38a will those same candidates preferences be passed on to other candidates where a how to vote was distributed?

 

  1. How many people registered for postal voting?

 

38a; how many of the applicants had a legal right to apply for a postal ballot under schedule          2 of the Electoral Act 1918

 

  1. How many applications or postal ballots were delivered too late to be counted?

 

  1. How many official and unofficial complaints were received by the AEC?

 

  1. Does the commission support a re-election process?

 

  1. What steps can the commissioner take to ensure the voters are aware of who is running in each seat, media reporting in my state only covered 3 parties, and even the how to vote lift outs in local papers excluded all others?

 

  1. Is the move to a position of electronic voting by the major parties a direct result of the

multitude of errors evident during the conduct of the 2016 process?

 

  1. With winning margins in some seats being below 100, are the tens of thousands of missing votes in each of those seats, enough to consider supporting a rerun of the election?

 

  1. Will there be a Petition by Electoral Commission to dispute the outcome of the election under section 357 of the electoral ACT 1918, as a result of the multitude of concerns raised and the deviation away from the legislative requirements of a general election process.

 

On behalf of Australian voters, I would hope the commission can see fit to answer these questions, and offer a full overview of the final conduct and voting facts.

As a federal candidate for the 2016 election I request answers to the questions asked where it is within my rights to ask as a candidate and enrolled voter.

*COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL ACT 1918 – SECT 364 Real justice to be observed

I believe as an informed voter and experienced political candidate that the election process has deviated to far from the legislative provisions of a proper election process to be considered an election at law.

I therefore demand the commissioner issues a petition to dispute the election outcome, and formally requests that a new election be held, in which the process is restored to be in line with the correct procedures required of a general election process.

Mark Aldridge

P O Box 1073 Virginia SA 5120

Date of Birth 02/08/65

201 Taylors road Penfield Gardens

08 82847482 / 0403379500

aldridgemark@bigpond.com.

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69 Responses to “FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER “Demanding a new election””

  1. Geoff Richards Says:

    Well written Mark

  2. Peter Johnson Says:

    The election should have been void and redone with all votes accounted for, as we know any votes that don’t get done goes to the major parties regardless so if there no ballot paper for people to vote should be told to go to the next polling booth, and also their names should never be marked off say that they voted it should be marked off in a different colour and note this vote is not counted as of no ballot papers left as for no ballot papers. NO government parties can claim victory over the other should have been a hung parliament and the voting would had to be re done and then everyone that was involved would have to stand done and a fresh lot of people take over. Make the counts to be done triple times and then sign off then if any dodging done it life jail term for the person signing off, Plus there will be a count back done on the quite and if found out be doing dodgy work will be publicly notify and the party will be made to hand the reins over to the other party then everyone that was involved with the party that was made to stand done through cheating all money is to be paid back to the people of Australia and never allowed to be involved any way with a political party and no pension hand out either and never allow to work in a government job of any sort. SO LE”S GET RID OF THESE CROOKS AND GET A GOOD LIVING STANDARDS BACK TO THE LOWER PAID PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA AND MAKE THE RICH PAY OUT MORE TAX. Like they earn a one billion dollars and only pay a one thousand back in tax lets make them pay out the taxes that they should be paying. Like an old saying the rich get richer and healthier and the poor get poorer and sicker !

  3. kasch2014 Says:

    Great stuff. I have contacted our local paper and it will probably be published as an article, for all the good that may do. I will collect references / links to as much data as possible and hope to get a bit more fire going under this issue. If you can help with more of that, great, send me some. Kay Schieren

  4. Suzanne Kelly Says:

    Nicely said, Mark. Your case would have greater strength if,in regard to the complaints, you could provide more specific details. As they are written, the AEC could argue the complaints are anecdotal only and not able to be acted upon.

    However, I know this is difficult. But even on the significant anecdotal evidence, one would think the matters should be addressed by the AEC.

  5. FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER “Demanding a new election” — Mark M Aldridge Blog | adam spong lego Says:

    […] via FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER “Demanding a new election” — Mark M Aldridge B… […]

  6. Kerry Says:

    Thank you for taking the time to collate the information and make this complaint formally.

  7. Theresa Hales Says:

    What is done is done, and Bill has declared. The Libs claim victory. That being said I have to add that the war may be over, however there are still many, many battles to be won :). Once again Mr Turnbull has to prove himself yet again, another one hunderd day. He has not got a mandate in my opinion. If he and his party think they have, I will have to watch question time to see how they fair, and see just how many so called policies get through!!!

  8. jacqui Stapleton Says:

    Please contact ex MP Lazarus – he is also complaining about the amount of polling booths closed. If we could all work together we may get something done.

  9. 14six5six Says:

    These questions certainly need to be addressed!

  10. Sophie Says:

    Where do I sign to support this?

  11. Gary Bentley Says:

    Start a petition. This election should be voided.

  12. Deanna Torres Says:

    I am all for this! Start a petition with this heading it and I will sign it in a heartbeat.

  13. Anne Tsoulis Says:

    It is a great concern how many missed out on voting

  14. Margie Uren Says:

    How do I sign the petition?

  15. Kim Howson Says:

    Never have I heard of this happening before. When people show to vote, they should be allowed vote.

  16. bagga2007 Says:

    My mother in law is in a nursing home and she missed out on voting because no one went to take her anywhere to vote. Not sure if that’s the AECs fault or the nursing home.
    Very well written Mark.

    • markmaldridge Says:

      The AEC are meant to supply mobile services, appears cut backs restricted this for hundreds of thousands of voters, sad indeed

      • Craig McConne3ll Says:

        Hi, Just signed the petition. Do you have any actual proof to substantiate the figures you are quoting?

      • markmaldridge Says:

        I base them on AEC facts and figures between this years and 2013, each year it gets worse. Final facts are never released until after the dead line to lodge a dispute generally. Present SA figures still show 328,418 missing votes at senate level, and across the lower house seats that is shared very much equally, informal votes are also up, which may related to miss information being provided. I will continue to update, but not a chance they will find all the votes. SA 2010 this started happening I noticed and rose with the application of dodgy pre-paid return addresses.
        Anyone can go to the AEC site and source the facts.

  17. medievilwitch Says:

    We have warned people about the postal votes that aren’t to AEC and they have had dread on their face when they did so in gray-lead pencil, I believe these postal votes other than from AEC, should be banned as 1 the person might not be marked off or they might have their votes tampered.

    Our country has outdated voting services and if all votes can’t be counted for, with every ones ballot entered and no damaged or lost ballots, then we will not know the true outcome.

    Surely it was not possible the election would sway so much from postal and absentee votes, unless everyone voted that way and many of us know that didn’t happen.

    • markmaldridge Says:

      https://t.co/PxIIvY3wkJ

    • nelly ferrule (@nellyferrule) Says:

      They weren’t actual postal votes, they were postal vote applications, totally different thing

      • markmaldridge Says:

        I never said they were ballot papers, but i we compare to recent elections, this practice has seen a massive rise in ballots going missing, maybe ready my post again and see I have not said that, We are already up 2 or 3 % in informal votes, and missing around 20% of the tally by the end of the day, and that can be attributed to applications is they go missing due to corruption or a indeed simple lack of resources at the AEC and Australia post. Australia ost workers like AEC workers are not allowed to come forward, but I have met with them.

  18. Gillian Says:

    OMG! You’re kidding me, Mark. YOU’RE trying to represent us as an independent??? I had no idea. I removed you from my facebook because of your support of the anti-muslim movement. There is no WAY you represent my views!!

  19. Mez Says:

    At the booth where I handed out prepoll voters were not asked questions as to if they were eligible. I don’t see this as a problem except to say why have the rule if it wasn’t being implemented.

  20. Nicholas Smurthwaite Says:

    I’m keenly following this. Love your work

  21. Jillian McCulloch Says:

    I am a nurse, and the day after the election my patients told me that they did not get to vote in the hospital, that they were informed that they were going to be able to vote on Saturday but nobody turned up to distribute ballot papers. I work in Townsville Qld.

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  23. Justine Stewart Says:

    have to say that even though the people at the booth (Sunshine Coast) were amazingly helpful (including letting me go to the front of the line and taking papers out to my elderly Mum) they didn’t ask me had I voted elsewhere, didn’t look at my licence (I read out the number) and gave the guy in front of me a handwritten ballot paper for his electorate with LIBERAL written beside the Labor candidate’s name!!! (He borrowed my How To Vote card to check and then showed me what she’d written!)

  24. Glenn Barnier Says:

    Under the circumstances whereby there were not enough ballot papers and the liberals opening the ballot boxes before passing them on. I believe this election should be voided. A new election should be carried out and at the same time introduce electronic voting.

  25. Martin Hubbard Says:

    I am astounded that this can be condoned by inaction in a supposedly first world country. If the regulators cannot understand the serious ethical implications of this issue then God help this country.

  26. Kyle Says:

    You forgot the biggest problem yet, for me anyway. Why are we given lead pencils to vote with? It seems illogical to me. Is there a person employed just to sharpen them? Why not pens? Banks use pens attached to chains, why not the same in a voting booth? Be a little more logical wouldn’t you think, its 2016 not 1954. Votes would be a little more secure to, you know as its harder to erase than pencil. But hey each to there own I guess.

    • Craig McConnell Says:

      The excuse is, pens run out of ink. Everytime I went to a polling station to vote I always took my own pen, now we just do a postal vote to save having to fight through all the loonies. It must be the only OFFICIAL document that is acceptable to be filled in with a pencil.

  27. Nicole Burman Says:

    .

  28. colin ritchie Says:

    Far too many rules were broken in this election. Surely there must be a total recount..

  29. Irene galli Says:

    I would love to see a re election as I don’t feel right having Turnbull in so good luck damand it , I want to vote again

  30. Donald swan Says:

    I’m a 45 year old male who has voted at every election since I was 18 …except when I went to vote this time ,found out my name was no longer on the roll ….I’m outraged and feel I have had my RIGHT taken away from me!!!!

    • tigtog Says:

      Have electoral boundaries changed recently in your area perhaps? Near me, many people who used to be within the Grayndler electorate are now living within the boundaries of the new electorate of Barton, and if they turned up to a Grayndler booth they would have found their name was not on that list, but only because it was now on the Barton list. This was a huge problem for polling stations close to the boundary lines, because people now enrolled in Barton turned up to their usual polling station in Grayndler and if they declined to go to a Barton polling station they then had to be directed towards the declaration vote line instead of the normal voting line, many more people insisted on doing this than expected thus huge queues and frustration and this led to much confusion all around.

      A neighbour of mine worked one of the polling stations near the boundary, I’m only repeating what she told me was happening there.

  31. Frances McDonald Says:

    This election of2016 was totally corrupt and should be re-held do to all the discrepancies mentioned above. We want a re-election.

  32. Christie Nash Says:

    As stated, this election has not given everyone a voice! The Liberal Government has won an election by fraud!

  33. David lane Says:

    If this is all true a new vote is needed

  34. Oliver Steffen Says:

    I live in Birkdale (bayside of Brisbane) after working 6 hrs I went the Birkdale primary school to vote. I found the fence covered in political advertising from the main street and the gates locked. There were elderly folk attempting to climb over to make there vote and no directional signs. Through our persistence we made our way.

    • Aussie Ragdoll Says:

      So? It is usual practice for the external fences to be covered in political signage on election day. It is often put up late the night before. Where I live, the Liberals are always very slow & so Labor has the entire fence area covered in their signage, leaving the Liberals nowhere to put theirs. All the signs are removed from the fences from around 5:30-6pm on election day.

  35. David B Graham Says:

    Too many errors and deficiencies mean that a new poll should be taken.

  36. Kenneth Hall Says:

    I totally agree and regard the vote as illegal if not corrupt. At best it was disorganised and incredibly amateurush

  37. Carol Hoffman Says:

    O’dowd who is standing member for Flynn sent us a postal vote and asked for it to be returned to his office along with an application for a postal vote in same envelope. I smelt a rat but believe people did just that as they were confused.

  38. Faye Charlston Says:

    I signed the petition, getting very tried of corruption. It should be mandatory to use ink rather than pencil which can easily be tampered with. Keep up the good work Mark.

  39. Lloyd Says:

    Very good questions

  40. FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER “Demanding a new election” | Mark M Aldridge Blog | Cranky Old Crow Says:

    […] Source: FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER “Demanding a new election” | Mark M Aldridge Blog […]

  41. Terri-Anne Glynn Says:

    How do we follow up this? I agree totally. I was nit even asked if I had already voted, before being given the ballot papers.

  42. Aussie Ragdoll Says:

    I watch a lot if TV & have radios on in the house 24 hours a day. I have to say, I do not recall any political advertisments once the media blackout took effect. Print advertisingnis still permitted under the legislation. It is only electronic advertising which is blacked out. So, what breaches of the blackout are you claiming took place? If there is a news story, or news confence by a party, the TV & radio stations are permitted to cover the story. That is not a breach of the legislation. It is only the advertisments that are illegal.

  43. Rebecca Jansen Says:

    Highly interested in the outcome. Also a huge thank you Paul Langtree.

  44. C Sklavos Says:

    Sharing.

  45. karabar Says:

    It is not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.

  46. Terry Says:

    Will this go before parliament immediately they return to work????? It would be interesting to see if the Labour Opposition go for this.

  47. Gary Voltz Says:

    Mark,

    Add people in Longman People at North Lakes Pre-poll only being told on the Senate Paper to mark 1 to 6 above the line and 1 to 12 below the line. The You may continue on was not said. A friend was told she could only mark 1 to 6 above or 1 to 12 below. She wanted to continue on.
    The Senate vote in Qld will have been grossly distorted as a result.

  48. roland feasey Says:

    had problems with inefficent staff at bali consulate should it take an hour for ten people to be processed, it seem like a simple thing to do.had to leave after 20 mins due to taxi waiting with meter running only completed the envelope.tried to sign the petition but it failed here in bali.

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