Australia’s multiple voters cheat charges

The Australian Electoral Commission told a Senate committee that its own records make it complicated to tell who is breaking electoral laws; therefore, not much can be done if voters deny it.

AEC suspected 16,189 people of multiple votes. 5211 of those completely denied it, while 80 per cent of the 1458 who confessed were either new voters or didn’t realize how to vote.

Moreover, it was established that 7925 were errors caused mainly when voters with similar names were recorded under the same name by accident.

Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn informed the committee the offence was a tricky one to prove as there was no actual evidence if a person denied the charge.

“The difficulty in all of these cases is around whether there is appropriate evidence that there was intent and, indeed, a practice of multiple voting,” he said.

“That has always been the issue for us.”

There have been increasing demands for the introduction of photo ID, with a number of seats won or lost on just a few votes.

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