Independent has how-to-vote cards rejected by ECQ
INDEPENDENT candidate for Gladstone Murray Peterson has had his how-to-vote cards rejected by the Electoral Commission of Queensland claiming they ‘mislead and deceive’ voters.
Mr Peterson received an email on October 20 to inform him his printed card was misleading and deceiving as he could not state he was an independent and candidates names were incorrect.
“Your submitted How To Vote Card for Murray Peterson in Gladstone has been rejected at this stage by the RO (Returning Officer),” the Electoral Commission of Queensland email said.
“Mislead and Deceive – candidates are not listed in the order as they appear on the ballot paper.
“The word ‘independent’ cannot be shown on a representation of a ballot paper.
“Candidate names on ballot paper representation must appear as they do on ballot paper, i.e. including given names.”
The following day, Mr Peterson returned fire at the ECQ with his own email.
“Your decision appears unfounded to me,” Mr Peterson wrote.
“I have checked with the Gladstone Returning Officer and he said he had not rejected my how-to-vote card.”
Photos were attached to the email to show the ECQ a comparison of his how-to-vote cards with a ballot paper.
“The Gladstone Returning Officer allowed me to photograph my printed How-To-Vote card next to a ballot to demonstrate that the order is the same on both.
“Also attached are photographs of three of the Australian Labor Party, the Liberal National Party and the One Nation Party how to vote cards which all show the same order.
“The order of the candidates on the notification of the ballot draw order is also identical to the order of the candidate on my how-to-vote card.”
The use of the word independent was justified, Mr Peterson said.
“Why is this a problem,” Mr Peterson wrote.
“It is the most accurate description of myself.
“I do not have any endorsement or any funding from a political party.”
Mr Peterson then quoted the Electoral Act 1992, Schedule 1.
“How-to-vote card means a card, handbill or pamphlet that—
(a)is or includes—
(i)a representation of a ballot paper or part of a ballot paper; or
(ii)something apparently intended to represent a ballot paper or part of a ballot paper; or
(b)lists the names of any or all of the candidates for an election with a number indicating an order of voting preference against the names of any or all of the candidates; or
(c)otherwise directs or encourages the making of preference votes, other than first preference votes, in a particular way.
Mr Peterson said ‘it appears that the information provided was inadequate to inform myself, the Gladstone Returning Officer and the previous member for Gladstone, Mr Glen Butcher of your stated requirement.’
“I note that the definition of a how-to-vote card in the Electoral Act 1992 does not appear to require the printing of full first names on a How-to-Vote card.
“Also see the Australian Labor Party How-to-Vote attached.”
The Electoral Commission of Queensland said Mr Peterson now had approved how-to-vote cards.
“Mr Peterson resubmitted his how-to-vote card with the change required and it was approved,” an ECQ spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman said there were no penalties that applied.