Voice ‘vote twice’ farce as voters are sent multiple postal ballots – as early voting kicks off across the country
Some voters have accidentally been sent extra postal ballots for the Voice referendum – with the election commission explaining how the flaw came about.
Melbourne voter Terry Guest said he and his wife both received an extra postal vote and claimed they were told to ‘just disregard one of them and shred it if possible’.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) said the extra ballots are sent when voters submit two postal vote applications with different details.
However, only one postal vote will be accepted per voter, because every postal vote is checked against the electoral roll.
Melbourne voter Terry Guest said he and his wife (pictured together) both received an extra postal vote from the Australian Electoral Commission
The AEC states on its website: ‘The AEC checks every returned postal vote against the electoral roll.
‘Once a person is marked off the roll with an accepted returned postal vote, any duplicate received for that enrolment record would not be accepted and the voter would be marked as an apparent multiple voter.’
The AEC advises anyone who received an extra ballot to return one and destroy the other.
‘This will not result in a non-voter notice being received – non-voter notices are drawn from the electoral roll, not the identification numbers on postal vote certificates,’ it said.
Postal vote applications are open until 6pm on October 11. The AEC was approached for further comment.
Early voting fully opened around Australia on Tuesday following a staggered start in some states due to the Labour Day public holiday in some states.
Voting in the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia opened Monday and in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia on Tuesday.
With the official polling day just a little over a week away on October 14, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese remains hopeful his Yes campaign is ‘certainly winnable’ despite polls showing falling support.
Newspoll found support for the Voice sat at 36 per cent just a little over a week before referendum day on October 14
Newspoll found support for the Voice had plummeted to just 36 per cent while Resolve found only 43 per cent of Australians plan to vote Yes.
‘When people have those one-on-one conversations about what the question is … people who are either undecided or soft No voters declare, ‘Yeah, that’s fair enough’,’ Mr Albanese told ABC Radio National on Tuesday.
‘This is the right thing to do, this is consistent with the Australian principle of a fair go.’
‘…I’m hoping a Yes result will be declared on the 14th and then on the 15th. I think the country will certainly come together just as it did after the apology to the stolen generations.’
It comes as more Australian stars join the Yes campaign, including former Labor minister and Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett and NRL Panthers grand final hero Nathan Cleary.
Cleary shared a video on social media showing his support following the Panthers’ grand final win on Sunday while Garrett warned Aussies about ‘bulls**t scare campaigns’.
‘We’ve been singing about this stuff for years. We love Aus deeply, we think it’s important,’ he said.
‘Of course, your vote is totally up to you but don’t get sucked in by all the bulls**t scare campaigns.’
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (above) still believes the referendum is ‘certainly winnable’ despite support for the Yes vote falling
However, Nationals senator Matt Canavan urged Australians to disregard flashy celebrity endorsements.
‘The government only seems to have celebrities arguing for its constitutional change, not arguments,’ he told Sky News on Tuesday.
‘I think the bar should be very high to get change, and with all respect to Mr Cleary, I think we need actual arguments about how this is going to improve people’s lives.’