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Postal voting in Victoria, Australia

02/09/2012

78 of Victoria’s 79 councils are holding elections in October 2012 (the exception is Brimbank City Council). The majority will hold postal voting elections. Ballot packs will be mailed to voters between 9-11 October 2012 to be returned by 26 October 2012.

I identify three issues of concern:

1. It is my experience that concerns about postal voting are rightly raised as to whether it complies with the requirements of a secret ballot, as people cast their vote outside the security of a polling station, and whether voters can cast their vote privately free from another person’s coercion.

2. I recall cases of electoral fraud with postal votes in the United Kingdom including that of the  Birmingham 2004 European and local government elections, and this was not the only such incident.

3. Voting is compulsory if you are on the state electoral roll on Friday 31 August 2012. However, people aged 70 and over who don’t vote won’t be fined. I don’t agree with compulsory voting yet this rule is lame particularly as these are postal voting elections. The logic escapes me. I wouldn’t bet, though, against age 70 being associated with dependence, vulnerability and decay. Ageist numbskulls?

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