Demanding a new Election – Formal Complaint to the AEC

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

 

Regarding the conduct and counting of the 2016 Federal election.

 

10th of July 2016

By email; [email protected]

Copy sent; [email protected]

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

[email protected]bigpond.com.

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