April 20

Postal Voting: Political Control

The former West Australian MP and Vice President of the Australian Democrats, Dr. Norman Kelly will address a meeting of the HS Chapman Society on the subject, “The Political Control of Postal Voting”. 

A reservation form can be downloaded here.

This will be held on Sunday 15 May 15, 2011 from 12 -3 pm at the Curve Room of the Vibe Hotel Corner Goulburn St. & Elizabeth St. City.

Lunch will be available from 12.15 pm.                                   

“Non-attendance voting, in the form of postal voting, is seen as a way of increasing turnout by making voting easier,” writes Dr Kelly. “

(Continued below)



“However moving away from the controlled polling booth environment increases the risk of fraud and corruption. In Britain when postal voting rules were relaxed in 2001, it was accompanied by significant fraud by Labour and Conservative candidates who saw the advantages in controlling postal ballots (R. Mawrey. Quadrant vol.54 no.4 2010).

“In Australia, postal voting has increased significantly over the past two decades. At the federal level, postal voting has risen from 2.893% in 1993 to 6.09% in 2010 (These are Senate figures. Prior to the 1993 election postal voting was around 4.5% but the introduction of prep-poll voting resulted in a significant initial drop in the rate). Increases at State level have been similar. For example, in Queensland, postal votes jumped from 4.6% in 2004 to 7.5% in 2009.

“It is impossible to ascertain or control the conditions in which postal voters cast their votes and whether an application has been forged. However, with an accurate electoral roll, and the electronic availability of signatures from enrolment forms for crosschecking signatures, there can be a good degree of confidence that identities are correct. “




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