Media Release

The federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, has attacked proposed changes to the federal voting system, saying they would give the discredited Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) too much power.

Mr Palmer said the changes set out in the Electoral Reform Amendment Bill 2013, in particular the loosening of restrictions on postal voting, would give the AEC even more power to control the outcome of elections.

“This will give the AEC yet another tool to rig elections in Australia by allowing unrestricted  postal votes  and it just means they can balance the votes anyway they want,” Mr Palmer said.

“Following the theft of 1300 Senate votes in Western Australia at the last federal election, there can be no doubt the AEC is not run impartially and is an incompetent body designed to prop up Australian governments and deny Australians the right to vote.

“I am calling for a major review and reform of the AEC and I will present a paper on this in February.”

Mr Palmer said in order to protect the integrity of the system, voting should take place as much as possible on election day and pre-polling should only be available to those who were genuinely unable to vote on the day.

Instead, the Government was proposing to bring forward the date that postal votes could be cast, ensuring they would become even more common.

Mr Palmer said instead of expanding the most insecure form of voting, the Government should work on improving security by replacing the flawed manual electoral system with a modern electronic system.

“A modern electronic voting system would save the tax payer millions of dollars, it would revolutionise electoral processes and it would almost completely eliminate informal votes,” Mr Palmer said.

ENDS