by Jim O’Toole
“The mail-out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to conduct the same-sex marriage survey in 2017 resulted in more than 248,000 individual envelopes marked ‘return to sender’ being returned to their office unopened.”
Turning up to vote at a state or federal election is the cornerstone of the democratic process, some politicians declare, but what if your vote no longer counts?
If you live in a marginal electorate where the result of an election hinges on just a few votes, each ballot paper is critical usually for either a Liberal or Labor candidate to decide their individual fate or perhaps who actually forms government.
What if there are more than 248,000 names on the Australian electoral roll which have been confirmed as unknown?
The mail-out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to conduct the same-sex marriage survey in 2017 resulted in more than 248,000 individual envelopes marked ‘return to sender’ being returned to their office unopened.
The ABS has confirmed this incredible figure some of which it says could comprise those who did not wish to take part in the survey. It could also include those who had recently moved house or other names which simply are fictitious.
More worrying is the admission by the ABS that a quarter of a million envelopes marked ‘return to sender’ were destroyed.
The ABS advised it did not give names of the unknown addressees to the AEC to enable it to update the roll before shredding the envelopes.
The ABS used Australian Electoral Commission data direct from the electoral roll to address the 12,727,920 envelopes mailed through Australia Post.
This means as of December 22, 2018 there were 248,000 names on the roll whose identity has not been confirmed.
In the federal seat of Herbert in Townsville at the 2016 election just 37 votes after a recount separated the ALP winner from the Liberal loser.
Having 248,000 votes up their sleeve will dictate the result of every election. But who would do that?
Correspondence in 2017 between Chairman of Vote Australia Lex Stewart and the ABS reveals that … “during survey operations, letters which were marked return to sender (RTS) were sent via Australia Post to our processing contractor Fuji Xerox’s Sydney site. This material was then kept separate from the millions of completed and returned surveys.
The letter continued, “Note that some envelopes may have been marked RTS because the recipient did not wish to participate in the survey and was returning the material.
“Once the completed surveys were scanned and processed, Fuji Xerox scanned the RTS mail held and sent this barcode data back to the ABS.
“All materials from the AMLPS has now been destroyed in accordance with industry best practice, Government secured document certification standards, and all relevant requirements of the Australian Governments Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF)
“As at 24 November there had been 248,000 RTS mail items received. We are unable to provide an exact final figure of RTS material from the AMLPS as we continue to receive RTS material. This is because RTS is low priority mail for Australia Post, and we expect to keep receiving this especially from remote areas, for the next few months.
“The ABS will provide some aggregate metrics to the AEC on the volume of returned mail by area in order to assist with electoral maintenance or other future AEC activities. The ABS will not provide name or address information from the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey to the AEC.”
After the 2016 federal election the AEC confirmed there were 18,000 voters who voted more than once.
Embedded in ALP-union genes, the motto for polling day is ‘vote early and often comrade’.
It is no secret in union circles that moles within the AEC supply bogus names and address lists to unionists and others complicit in voting fraud to use at polling booths across a given electorate.
Booth workers from all parties have reported busloads of voters converging on a polling place to vote with lists of fictitious names at correct addresses.
Senator Len Harris’ office in 2004 was given 16 AEC envelopes addressed with false names at a single legitimate address in St Lucia, a Brisbane suburb not far from Queensland University.
Compulsory ID will prevent much of this fraud but what of previous elections which have been won by dud votes?
Vote Australia Chairman Lex Stewart said he and his organisation had been warning the AEC and the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for more than 15 years that the roll contained hundreds of thousands of fictitious entries.
Finally the JSCEM in a 2018 review recommended the federal government introduce voter ID at federal elections to be produced by a voter before applying for a ballot paper at a polling booth.
In 2014 the JSCEM held its usual post-election inquiry into the conduct of the 2013 election.
Then Acting AEC Electoral Commissioner, Thomas Rogers observed there were startling differences between the NSW state roll and the federal roll.
“Yesterday the committee asked the New South Wales state manager, Mr Orr, for information on roll divergence in New South Wales. I have with me information by State on the divergence, and I am happy to discuss this with this committee,” Mr Rogers said.
“But, as an example, in New South Wales as at 30 September 2014 there were 139,898 more electors on the New South Wales state roll than the federal roll.
“And there were also 102,427 electors enrolled at different addresses. As you can see from this example, the divergence is a very significant issue …. ”
Mr Stewart said the cessation of physical habitation checks by the AEC of every Australian household some years ago has resulted in a completely inaccurate roll which has a sufficient number of fictitious entries to change the result of an election.
“The NSW Electoral Roll for the 28/3/15 election contained 5,040,662 entries.
“This ‘divergence’ between the two Rolls of 139,898 was therefore 2.8%,
‘very significant’ is a euphemism for ‘disgraceful !
“The AEC also admitted that this ‘divergence’ was higher than it had ever been!
“The discrepancy of 102,427 on both Rolls but at different addresses was 2.0%
“The divergence plus the discrepancy add up to 242,325 or 4.8% of the roll !
“Is it suspicious that such a record amount of divergence-plus-discrepancy occurred only a short time before the NSW State election ?
“How reliable could the result of the 2015 NSW State election have been, based on such deficient electoral rolls ?
“The total of 242,325 is an average of 2,594 per 93 state electorates
“Many seats are won or lost by margins of less than 1,000 votes
How many seats were swung by bogus votes from bogus enrolments?” Mr Stewart asked.