Australian family votes 159 times

Saturday, March 27, 2010

ADELAIDE - An Australian family says its members voted 159 times in state elections in South Australia to make a point about poor identity checks, a media report said Saturday.

The family, which called itself “The Election Team”, claimed it was easy to steal the identities of other voters, an anonymous letter published in the Adelaide Advertiser said.

The letter stated that one of the members was underage but “had no difficulty” in voting 31 times.

“There are individuals who are incapable of voting but they remain on the electoral roll. There are individuals who are absent. There are individuals who need assistance and are all too easily conned into giving up their right to vote,” it said.

The family claimed to have memorized the 159 names and addresses and warned it would repeat the fraud on a larger scale at a future election until its demands for change were met, including an end to compulsory voting and compulsory preferential voting.

“The author or authors of the letter have refused to identify themselves or provide any evidence of their claims,” Attorney General John Rau was quoted as saying by AAP.

Meanwhile, Electoral Commissioner Kay Mousley said she had asked South Australian government lawyers to investigate the matter.

“If the fraud occurred it was a breach of the electoral act, and voting more than once can result in penalties of $2,500 and six months jail,” she said.

The family could also face charges of impersonating other people.

“We have to take the claims seriously,” Mousley said. “If ‘The Election Team’ really existed, they had gone about making their argument in the wrong way,” she said.

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