You can apply for a postal vote if you can’t (or dont want to) get to a polling place on election day. IF POSSIBLE ENROL TO POSTAL VOTE BY MAY 18th!
It’s best to vote in person if you can – either way its easy to have voteearthnow.com open at your electorate and state to guide you how to really make your vote count.
Beware political parties “helping” you postal vote
AEC warns Australian political parties over ‘misleading’ postal vote applications
Forms sent back via political parties can be used to harvest personal information about voters
The Australian Electoral Commission has written to political parties warning against distributing “potentially misleading” postal vote applications to residents.
Political parties have sent out forms to voters where they can register with the AEC to vote via mail. However, the forms are sent back via the political parties and can be used to harvest personal information about those voters to target later.
This year Labor has set up howtovote.org.au and the Liberals have set up postal.vote – with little party branding – to target voters.
The AEC commissioner, Tom Rogers, wrote to political parties and candidates on Saturday amid reports of incorrect forms being distributed to voters in one division and the AEC’s purple colour being used on forms in another.
“It’s legal but it is potentially misleading and we’re concerned,” Rogers said. “While we haven’t seen unauthorised postal vote applications, the use of colour and wording means someone who doesn’t examine the material in detail could mistake it for a piece of AEC communication.”
Rogers said the election mainly involved people voting in person so there was no need for the mass distribution of postal ballots.
Political parties and members of parliament are exempt from privacy law, meaning voters have no way of knowing what the parties do with any information filled out on the forms.
Guardian Australia has seen one such postal vote application form sent out by Liberal minister and ACT senator Zed Seselja, which includes a reply-paid envelope addressed to the Canberra Liberals.
The postal vote form itself asks for personal information including name, address, email address, phone number and date of birth, but also asks for a security question and answer used to verify a person, such as town of birth, first employer, last school, or name of child.
Independent senator Rex Patrick has called for the exemption in the Privacy Act for political parties to be removed.
“More and more the Liberal and Labor parties are running election campaigns supported by ‘big data’ programs based on access to electoral roll information, harvesting of social media data, highly specific economic and financial information, and through partnerships with contracted polling and analytics agencies,” Patrick said.
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