North Sydney Electoral Roll and Canning low turnout raise embarrassing questions for AEC
·Did GetUP ‘chicken out’ from using 8,200 extra false names added to Roll?
· Will the AEC avoid collecting the $1.27million debt from the record number of persons (real or false) who did not vote in the Canning By-election?
· Compulsory voting in Australia?
With the release by the AEC of the final numbers on the Electoral Roll for the North Sydney By-election, and now that official results for the Canning By-election have been finalised, the Elections-monitoring group, Australians for Honest Elections (AFHE), is questioning the integrity of the Electoral Roll and the competence of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)
The Roll for the Canning By-election had 112,809 names, up from 101,804 in the 2013 election, which was an unusually large 10.8% increase in two years.
The Roll for the N Sydney By-election has 104,352 names, up from 101,333 in the 2013 election, which is a 3.0% increase, very much in line with the national average of 1.37% per annum..
”This organisation’s two media releases before the Canning By-election also went to many offices of the AEC and of MPs suggesting that the Roll could have been ‘padded’ with 8,200 false names using GetUP’s lists of demolished/vacant buildings. Famous author Dr Amy McGrath wrote on pages 452-455 of her book “Wolves in Australia” that GetUP (of which Bill Shorten was a Foundation Director) compiles lists of vacant or demolished buildings and uses these for stacking the Electoral Roll with false enrolments,” said Mr Stewart.
AEC figures show that only 89,717 voted in the Canning By-election, which means a record low voter turnout of only 79.5%.
If we deduct from the Electoral Roll the 8,200 possibly-false enrolments suggested by AFHE in our two media releases, then the 89,717 who did vote in the Canning By-election would mean a turnout of 86%, precisely in line with the long-term average turnout of 86% in the last 15 By-elections going back to 1996 as listed on the AEC website.
“If rumours are true that GetUP was warned that the Australian Federal Police would do checks in the Canning By-election, then this would have deterred GetUP from voting using the 8,200 false enrolments stacked onto the Roll. This might explain the record low voter turnout.”
Canning’s low voter turnout of 79.5% is about the same as the 75% turnout in the recent UK elections, where voting is voluntary.
“Is it time to review whether voting should be voluntary or compulsory?” asks Mr Stewart.
A record 23,107 persons in Canning did not vote. We have compulsory voting in Australia with a fine of $55 for not voting. 23,107 x $55 = $1.27 million, a lot of money.
“We look forward to hearing what actions the AEC is taking to collect this $1.27million legal debt to the Commonwealth,” said Mr Stewart.
“Or are they scared to enforce the law, because it would reveal all those false enrolments that the AEC should have taken care not to allow to occur in the first place?”
Contact: Lex Stewart, President, Australians for Honest Elections, mobile 0424 077 746
AFHE is a research think-tank not aligned with any political party. The organisation seeks thorough public scrutiny of electoral systems and procedures, and advocates remedial reforms.
Video clips on its website www.afhe.org.au show specific cases of voting irregularities