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We must demand another election
The report’s are flooding in about the conduct of the election, as the creator of the web site “How to vote in S.A.” and being a candidate in the March 2010 Election, with a rather large on line presence, I have received huge feed back from the electorate. I have been one of the few people since our federation that has past experience in the court of disputed returns, and have fought for electoral reform for many years now, my site www.howtovoteinsa.net had over 25,000 hits in the few days before the election, the site clearly explains past discrepancies found in recent elections.
The large amount of hits clearly indicates the need for a huge increase in availible electoral information.
I am sure many have heard of the Labor parties deliberate attack on democracy, in regards to the fake how to vote pamphlets, but the assaults on democracy go much further and were not restricted to the Labor party.
A majority of South Australians, do not find full preferential voting democratic; neither do they enjoy attending the polling booth ill informed of their choice of candidates, like it or not, that is the law, because those that write the legislation have the most to gain from structural biases, Atkinson being one of them.
Under the electoral act, it is however the electoral commissioners job to ensure we are adequately informed of how to vote, which is why we USED to receive a how to vote guide to every home. The idea of the guide was to inform the electorate of electoral changes, to educate new voters, remind past voters, and ensure an informed electorate attends the polling booth.
So why did this guide not turn up this year?
As a candidate I was promised contact information of the other 72 candidates running so as to submit my preference ticket, the promise was not kept, so even I had no chance of casting an informed vote, neither did the rest of the electorate.
I contacted the electoral commission to question the act, as the online version of the electoral act, clearly still included Michael Atkinson’s section that disallowed online blog’s, the reply was to seek legal advise, so the commissioner did not even want to help the candidates understand the act, let alone honor her promises or fulfill her obligations under the act.
I have in my possession more complaints about the conduct of the election, than I could ever imagine, intimidation of voters, undue influence and bribery, complaints of the use of pencils that can be rubbed of with ones finger (not an ideal security measure), reports from scrutineers that invalid votes were the result of ill informed rather than deliberate actions, incorrect installation of posters, un ethical advertising, the fact is the list is long and arduous.
Possibly thousands of postal votes never turned up, dozens of people have told me they were denied a vote, many thousands of vote may have been invalid due to the electoral commission’s failure to educate the electorate, hundreds or thousands of votes may have been influenced by fake how to vote cards, by deliberately disguised Labor workers, Labors intimidation of our elderly through a series of computer generated home phone calls have surely affected the election out come and offers of special personal services in exchange for votes is out right bribery.
I have reports of people being denied access to the polling booths due to their choice of clothing, in some cases denied a vote, electors that were told they were not on the roll who have voted for years, voters who made a mistake on the ballot paper who were refused a replacement and general confusement all round, in fact most even had no idea of the difference between the upper and lower houses.
I have had calls from people saying they did not think they could vote for me, that were told that a vote for an independent or minor player was a wasted vote, on line people were led to believe incorrect preference exchanges, and in fact unlike years of past, could not access details of where the preferences were going, in other words a complete shambles.
How can an election be deemed fair, if some were not allowed to vote, others not able to, none were informed enough, some were intimidated or bribed, many deceived, we received no security as to how we marked our votes and our intention ignored?
I will be again putting in an application to the court of disputed returns, and under the act demanding the results of the election deemed void, as much as I understand the financial cost of such an action, but dare we allow the devastating cost to democracy if we allow the results to stand?
For details of how the 2006 election was held, please go to www.howtovoteinsa.net and please send me your views, experiences and whether you felt you were adequately informed to vote last Saturday to [email protected] I will be producing a petition to assist me in the court, please help me uphold democracy the corner stone of our society.
Mark M Aldridge Independent Candidate for the Legislative Council “Change is Necessary” 08 82847482 / 0403379500
PS; please do not let the fact that this information will not appear in the media, undermine your support, it is now time for the people to stand united in the deafening silence of media bias. Yes I am having a dig at the 2 party preferred media, not all of you.