MARK M ALDRIDGE - "voice of the Community" Community Advocate
 IN THE COURT OF DISPUTED RETURNSNo 619 of 2010 BETWEEN  MARK MARSHALL ALDRIDGEPetitioner and THE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER OF SOUTH AUSTRALIAFirst Respondent   Leesa Anne Vlahos (Removed by ammendment) Second Respondent  David Wickham Ridgway Third Respondent  Paul Holloway Fourth Respondent  Stephen Graham Wade Fifth Respondent  Gail Elizabeth Gago Sixth Respondent  Terence John Stephens Seventh Respondent  Bernard Vincent Finnigan Eighth Respondent  Jing Shyuan Lee Ninth Respondent  John Mario Gazzola Tenth Respondent  Tammy Anne Jennings Eleventh Respondent  Robert Lawrence Brokenshire Twelfth Respondent  Kelly Vincent Thirteenth Respondent  ________________________________________________________________ Amended Petition   Filed by the petitioner  Mark M Aldridge P O Box 1073 Virginia SA 5120  08 82847482 0403379500  email: aldridgemark@bigpond.com  Fax (smaller documents) 08 82847487   FOREWORD  Your Honour,   This amended petition, does not stray from the original in basic form, attachments and/or witness statements, where new documents are listed, they are from the same electors that have made statements in the original petition attachments, but have been collated to make navigation of ease.   In accordance with the Electoral Act 1985 (“the Act”) this petition disputes the results of the South Australian State Election held on 20 March 2010, for the Legislative Council. Attachment (I) contains a full list of those elected by the March 2010 Legislative Council Election and the same are respondents in this petition.   The petitioner respectfully requests to further argue the interpretation of the word “Election” in the Act, in particular its use in s 107, if under the common law of elections, the legislative requirements for the proper conduct of the election process has strayed so far as to be deemed by the Court not to be an election at law, the petitioner believes it has disenfranchised the electors across the state and both houses of parliament.     ENTITLMENT TO FILE THIS PETITION   The petitioner is a candidate for the Legislative Council and an elector in the March 2010 State Election, fulfilling the requirements of s 104subs(1)(c) of the Act.     SUMMARY   The petitioner will allege irregularities in the conduct of the March 2010 South Australian State Election, including a defect in a roll or certified list of electors, irregularities in, or affecting, the conduct of the election, and the Electoral Commissioners performance of her responsibility for carrying out the programmes of publicity and public education in order to ensure that the public is adequately informed of their democratic entitlements, rights and obligations under the Act; failed to ensure both an informed electorate went to the polls, and that the electorate had a fair opportunity to vote for the candidate most preferred.   Under the common law of elections, the petitioner will allege that the election disputed, has strayed so far from the legislative provisions, that it has not been an election at law and that the electorate were not able to vote for the candidate most preferred.   The petition seeks to allege that the conduct of many sections and sub-sections respectively of the Act caused irregularities that on the balance of probabilities, to satisfy the Court that the result of the election would have been affected, and as such, supporting relief sought before the Court under both, s 107 of the Act and the common law of elections.   Your Honour, it is alleged the following breaches under the sections forthwith occurred under the Act during the period of the March 2010 South Australian State Election and such responsibility is that of the Electoral Commissioner under s 8 found in the petition at Part 1 and the breaches are a result of information attached to the current (amended) petition;   Part 1: s 8subss(1)(b),(c), s 94subss(6)(a),(b) Part 2: s 23 Part 3: s 65subss(a),(b)(ii),(iii), s 66subss(1)(b),(5)(a),(b), s 80A Part 4: s 69subs(1) Part 5: s 70subs(1), s 8subs(1)(c), s 17 Part 6: s 72subss(1)(a),(b) Part 7: s 74subss(2),(4) Part 8: s 73subs(4), s 75, s 78subss(1),(2),(3) Part 9: s 71(1), s 82subs(2)(d)(i) Part 10: s 111 Part 11: s 112B Part 12: s 115subs(1)(a) Part 13: s 124subs(1)(b) Part 14: s 125subss(1)(a),(b),(c)  (not inclusive)   Please find the following particulars and relief sought below.   Several witnessed statements from candidates and electors are separately attached under (attachment (H), (L) and updated affidavits found in (M)).   If the petition were to advance to trial, witnesses would be called that can confirm they were on the roll, and that they were able to vote and did so, however have now received letters from the Electoral Commission asking them as to why they have not voted.   Furthermore, a Legislative Select Committee has been established into election practices which is further evidence that consistent problems were held with the March 2010 South Australian Election.     PARTICULARS  Alleged Breaches of the Act   Part 1s 8subss(b),(c), s 94subss(6)(a),(b) of the Act   1.A) In 2006, During the last South Australian State Election, there were regular instruments in place to ensure the electorate were adequately informed of the rights and obligations under the Act which included the standard practice of “How To Vote” guides being delivered to every household to inform new voters and remind others (see attachment (M), pages one (1) through to eleven (11)) and also to empower those with disabilities, poor English skills to become capable of casting a formal vote.   1.B) It is alleged that the Electoral Commission has breached s 8subss(b),(c) as it is shown in the petition, the Electoral Commission did not adhere to the minimum past practice of ensuring the electorate were adequately so informed, by the receipt of appropriate information and has resulted in the electorate being denied their entitlement to cast their vote for the candidate they preferred.   1.C) The Electoral Commissioner in her Exhibit (KMM-4 on page three (3)), in which she states “The Easy Guide To Voting” used in the 2006 South Australian State Election was, reviewed and evaluated after the election. The Guide contained sixty-three (63) pages of information stating further,   “The pages contained information on voting and how the vote was counted for both houses”.   The Electoral Commissioner continues on pages three (3) and four (4), stating she decided to alter the practice to individually address a letter to the electorate which included the “Easy Voting Card” (see attachment (M) pages seventeen (17) and eighteen (18)).   1.D) It is alleged the new addressed letter, did not include information on how to vote, or any of the rights and obligations voters should have been made aware of, an example is explained in Part 5 of this petition, where voters were not aware of their right to receive a ballot paper. (see also Part 9). Information lost to electors as a result of this irregularity include all of the following voter rights and obligations;  
  • Information in a variety of languages
  • An explanation of the Upper and Lower Houses, and as to how to vote in each
  • Pre-poll voting including interstate and overseas locations
  • Postal voting information, their rights to receive and fill in such, and when they have to be returned by
  • How to fill in a ballot paper for both houses of parliament, including how to deal with mistakes
  • How the preferences worked in both houses
  • Legislative Council “How it works”
  • Re-distribution of electoral boundaries and renaming of electorates
  • Electorates and associated maps
  • Absentee / declaration voting
  • The right to a replacement ballot paper
  • Pre-polling in person, where to go and what to do
  • Their right to assistance out side the polling booth
  • Mobile polling booth locations and times
  • How an elector’s vote is counted
  • Glossary of terms and descriptions of electoral wording
  1.E) The complaints by the electorate regarding the lack of information about how to vote are many; attachment (I) shows four hundred (400) electors signed an online internet petition stating they did not feel they were adequately aware of their entitlements, rights and obligations under the Act and attachment (F) states, that the electorate surveyed had very little knowledge of how to vote, or any of their entitlements and rights under the Act.   1.F) Furthermore, s 8 of the Act at subs(1)(c) states,   “…is responsible for the carrying out of appropriate programmes of publicity and public education in order to ensure that the public is adequately informed of their democratic rights and obligations under this Act”.   1.G) It is alleged the Electoral Commissioner has failed to take adequate steps to ensure the public are informed of their rights and obligations, only where to go to vote for those that did receive their “Easy Voting Card”, resulting in doubt cast on the intent of ballots being genuinely cast for the electorates most preferred candidate, by want of election machinery.    1.H) It has become apparent that almost one third (1/3) of those most in need of support services, and proper education, being the many residents of the seventy-seven (77) of the two hundred and sixty-eight (268) declared institutions that did not receive any information or support services at all, denying them the entitlement to cast an informed vote, which has resulted in hundreds or thousands of voters not being able to cast a vote for the candidate they preferred.   1.I) In 2006, two hundred and forty-two (242) declared institutions were visited by electoral teams, to ensure the occupants of such institutions could cast an informed vote for the candidate they most preferred, the said places, were the total of those so declared; a total of seventy-seven (77) were excluded from the March 2010 South Australian State Election, which alleged, has had an affect on the outcome of the election.   1.J) Sections in the Act ensure proper scrutiny of the ballots, and are reliant on the electorate understanding their rights and obligations, an example will be given (see attachment (M), page twelve (12)). Under s 94subs(6) of the Act the law states,   “Where- (a) a ballot paper has not been marked by a voter in the manner required by this Act; but (b) despite that fact, the voter’s intention is clear”   the vote will be deemed formal.   1.K) Words “the voters intention is clear” have been stated by the Court and deemed to mean, that such “intention” was to comply with the Act. The petitioner states that to do so, the electorate needed to be clear of their entitlements, rights and obligations in order to do so, in the absence of such certainty, any vote counted in the scrutiny that was deemed formal by s 94subss(6)(a),(b) which has not been the voters intention to be counted.   1.L) See attachment (M) at page twelve (12) “sample of a formal ballot paper” which is alleged not to be the will of an uninformed elector.   1.M) Such uncertainty in the scrutiny of votes, becomes an irregularity in the conduct of the election, that has affected the outcome of the election. The petitioner believes that when added to the many irregularities in the proper conduct of the election found in the petition, it will further shows a trend that the conduct of the election has strayed so far from the legislative provisions, that it has not been a proper election at law.   1.N) During the three (3) days of 18 through to the 20 March 2010, the petitioners’ own website named “How To Vote In SA” (www.howtovoteinsa.net) received over twenty-five thousand (25,000) “hits” (accessed visits), confirmed in the Affidavit of the petitioner. A copy of the website “hits” (see attachment (M) on page twenty-two (22)) which confirms a spike in website “hits” from an average of a few hundred to twenty-five thousand, five hundred and seventy-four (25,574).   1.O) The petitioner will state that the sudden surge in electors searching the exact words “How to vote in SA” is a clear indicator of electors seeking information, due directly to the important information they were denied by the electoral commission as is her obligation under s 8subs(1)(c) of the Act.   1.P) During past South Australian State Elections it will be alleged that a regular practice to display how to vote information in every cubicle at the polling booths occurred, of both the Upper and Lower Houses and the respective Upper House preference sheets; it is alleged this practice was not fulfilled, resulting in breach of the Electoral Commissioners obligations under both ss 8(b),(c), 65subss(a),(b)(ii) of the Act respectively (see Part 3 of the petition).     Part 2s 23   2.A) It will be alleged the Electoral Commission has breached s 23 of the Act in their duty to ensure the electoral rolls have been kept up to date, extensive evidence is included in Part 5 of this petition.   2.B) The electoral roll, is the basis of the eligibility of voters to cast a valid vote for the candidate of their preference, issues with the roll, can and have affected the out come of the election and are an irregularity in the conduct of the election, by way of denying electors the right to cast their vote and or receive a ballot paper.   2.C) The introduction of the irregular practice of using electronic means to access the entire roll by way of the new “palm one device” by polling booth staff has failed due process of the legislative provisions under the Act. Many electors attended the polling booths to find their name no longer on the roll, and the new “palm one device” also could not find their names.   2.E) (See Exhibit KMM-4) The Electoral Commissioner has confirmed this status, since the writing of the original petition, beginning at page two (2) at the last paragraph,   “Alternatively if the elector was voting outside their enrolled district, all declaration issuing officers were provided an electronic copy of the roll for the whole state to assist in identifying which address an elector might be enrolled”.   2.F) Further in Exhibit KMM-4 page three (3) at the first paragraph,   “…after undertaking a check of the electoral roll (by the use of the palm one) if an elector could not be found on the roll, a declaration vote was issued”, statements below (stated in Part 5 of the petition) allege this did not happen.   2.G) In attachment (A) there are many unsolicited statements received by the petitioner that confirm these irregularities were not restricted to only a few electors, (see attachment (A) page one (1)), Jo stated that she worked for the Electoral Commission and found many false enrollments prior to the election, that were not Acted upon. On the same page Shauni Pridham and Jessica Ikahermonen found their names missing from the roll, as did Sean on page two (2), Lisa Rossbottom Chadwick on page three (3) and Andrew Shore on page four (4).     Part 3s 65subss(a),(b)(ii),(iii) s 66subss(1)(b),(5)(a),(b), s 80A of the Act   3.A) It is alleged the Electoral Commission breached s 65subs(1)(b)(ii) under the Act by failing to provide adequate equipment and it is further alleged that a breach occurred at s 65subs(1)(b)(iii) which state the necessity for “adequate poll clerks, necessary staff and equipemnt”. Attached reports deny this occurred, and that under staffing irregularity was the issue of the incorrect rolls, and the increased need for absentee votes, even to the point of a depletion in levels of important stationary as Absentee voting papers to the detriment of the right to vote of electors (see Part 9).   3.B) It is alleged this irregularity has had an effect on the outcome of the election, as the direct result has been a denial under the Act of the electors’ entitlements and rights to both receive an absentee ballot paper, and have access to Legislative Council how to vote information and voting tickets (as supported in Part(s) 1 and 9 of the petition).   3.C) The denial of “How To Vote” information and “Voting Tickets” has had the effect of electors being unable to cast a vote for the candidate they most preferred, due to want of electoral stationery, and the opportunity to cast their ballot in an informed manner. It is further alleged the Electoral Commission breached s 66subss(1)(a),(b) with respect to this statement.   3.D) The facts relating to the departure of the polling booths to display essential equipment are many and not isolated to any one (1) polling booth; in attachment (B) on page twenty-six (26) and sixty-five (65), Rosemarie McKenzie-Ferguson states,   “O’Halleron Hill Polling Place had no how to vote information in the booths”.   Further on page twenty-three (23) and sixty-five (65) the statement is made,   “at the Hendon Primary School “the how to vote cards for each party and candidate were not in the polling booth”   3.E) Further in attachment (L) at page one (1) the Statutory Declaration of Mr. Garry Lewis confirms that,   “there was no information to guide me whatsoever”   At page twenty-five (25) Mr. Matthew Fowler states,   “There was no how to vote information in the polling booth to assist my decision and I had no access to where the preferences would go”.   3.F) Attachment (L) has many similar elector statements, the petitioner will include a few more for clarity, at page eight (8), W&A Nicole while attending the Brighton/Jetty Road(s) Polling Place,   “When I arrived at the booth I was surprised there was no white form in the booth”   On page twenty-eight (28) of the same attachment a polling booth worker stated,   “The large legco poster was behind where the officers were sitting and hard to see”   3.G) Under the Act, s 66(1)(b) ensures that all posters are displayed or made available in a prominent position in the polling booth and in accordance with any direction issued by the Electoral Commissioner.   3.H) The Electoral Commissioner must have the following electoral material prepared for use in polling booths on polling day:   (a) posters formed from how to vote cards submitted by the candidates in the election; and (b) in relation to a Legislative Council election—posters or booklets, or posters and booklets containing the voting tickets registered for the purposes of the election.   3.I) The word “posters” is used in a plural sense and/or “posters and booklets” also denote the plural, when read in conjunction with s 80A, it ensures that the electorate should have easy access to prominently displayed posters and booklets in all the polling booths, but that in the event of a declaration vote being cast outside of the polling booth, such material must also be made available to those electors outside the booth.   3.J) s 80A regards the entitlement to vote outside a polling booth in certain circumstances, when read with and in conjunction with s 82subs(5) the polling booths therefore must have more than one (1) copy of the Upper House “How To Vote” poster and voting tickets.   3.K) In the Exhibit KMM-4, the Commissioner confirms only one (1) poster was supplied, further evidence is found in the Affidavit of the petitioner marked attachment (H), where he received many complaints including those from polling booth managers whom saw this as an irregularity in the normal conduct of election.    Part 4 s 69subs(1) of the Act   4.A) In accordance with s 69subs(1) of the Act, it is alleged the following breach occurred at various polling booths at the 2010 South Australian State Election.   4.B) The witness statement of Alison Feast (attachment (M)) shows flaws in polling booth practices, where her family and others were turned away from a polling booth, other statements found in attachment (G), confirm others were denied entry due to their attire, which is not founded in any section under the Act, and confirmed by the Electoral Commissioner in her Exhibit KMM-4 at page five (5)), denying an unknown amount of the electorate their entitlement to vote.   4.C) Exhibit KMM-4 from the Electoral Commissioner confirms (page two (2) at the last paragraph),   “If a voter attended a polling place and their name was not found on the electoral roll for a District they were claiming a voting entitlement, an un-enrolled declaration vote was issued by a declaration issuing officer”.   4.D) It is alleged this did not occur, denying many their right to vote.     Part 5s 70subs(1), s 8subs(1)(c), s 17 of the Act   5.A) Witness statements and further witnesses available under oath will allege errors in the roll did exist and furthermore, irregularities resulted in electors being denied their entitlement to vote. It is alleged that a breach occurred under s 70subs(1) of the Act.   5.B) The tendered witness statement of Mr. Michael Sherry is an example (see attachment (L) page two (2)). Mr. Sherry attended the polling booth to cast his vote, and was told he was no longer on the electoral roll. Mr. Sherry states he has voted in many elections in the same district, and there is no reason why his name would have been removed from the roll, as he has not changed address or subdivision.   5.C) Mr. Sherry alleges due to the lack of information to ensure he was aware of his rights and obligations (as per s 8subs(1)(c) of the Act) did not demand an absentee ballot paper, further the polling booth staff did not ensure he was assisted to do so, (further breaches of ss 17 and 78subss(1),(2),(3) under the Act are alleged) by offering him the option of an absentee ballot paper. When Mr. Sherry complained about being unable to cast a vote, the polling booth staff instead of ensuring he maintained his right under the Act to rightly do so, offered Mr. Sherry a signed enrollment form, to show he had attended to vote (see attachment (B) page sixty-nine (69)) which shows an the stated form with the signature from the polling booth worker, M. Fromm from the Elizabeth Vale polling booth.   5.D) It is alleged this irregularity in the conduct of the election denied Mr. Sherry his entitlement under the Act to receive a ballot paper and to cast a vote for the candidate he most preferred. Mr. Sherry has confirmed he will attend and give evidence before the Court.   5.E) Mr. Darren Verdun Hamblen in his sworn statement on (see attachment (L) at page three (3)) endured the same denial of his entitlement to both receive a ballot and cast his vote, and went further to state that he saw the name of his uncle on the roll, who had passed away some six (6) to seven (7) years earlier. Mr. Hamblen asked the question of the polling booth staff “Don’t I get a vote” and was told he did not exist, at no stage was Mr. Hamblen offered an absentee ballot paper, neither was he informed of his rights and obligations to demand he received one.   5.F) The Affidavit of the petitioner has received telephone calls from electors that allege this breach of the Act, by way of denial of both ballot papers and electors entitlement to cast a vote (see attachment (H) page three (3) at 14)   “I received calls from polling booth managers, scrutineers, voters, journalists, nursing home staff and the like over a 2 day period, the major issues across the board were lack of information for the voters, huge discrepancies in the electoral roll”.   and (see attachment (H) page three (3) at 16),   “People were attending to vote and finding themselves off the roll, even those who had been voting for many years and had lived at the same address all of their lives”.   5.G) The statement of Ms. Sonia Temple (attachment (L) at page four (4)) in which she states,   “I have heard complaints from many people that they wasn’t[sic] on the electoral roll”.   This allegation further shows a trend towards the irregularity in the administration of the roll and furthermore was not restricted to only a few electors.   5.H) The statement of Mr. Peter Ramsey on behalf of his daughter, Ms. Sharen Anne Ramsey (see attachment sixteen (16), page sixteen (16)), is one of many alleged examples of regular electors arriving to vote, who were turned away without receiving a ballot or entitlement to cast their vote by way of irregularities in the administration of the roll.   5.I) In attachment (L) on Page twenty-two (22), a person known as Claine makes the statement,   “When I went to vote my name wasn’t on the list”   and further went on to say,   “The guy (polling booth staff) looks up my name and gives me a name that is similar to mine”.   Claine voted under a name on the roll, that was not theirs.   5.J) The Statutory Declaration of Helen Aldridge (see attachment (L), page twenty-three (23)), again alleges a trend of irregularities in the roll affecting the entitlement of electors to cast a vote (see para 6) in which she states,   “Since the election date, several of our personal friends voiced many concerns about the conduct, in particular finding for the first time they were no longer on the roll and in some cases missing out on voting”.   5.K) It is further alleged (see attachment (C)) there are several supporting statements of the electorate who had similar complaints regarding attending to vote to find their names no longer on the electoral roll, however these statements do not confirm in all cases, full details of their complaints to satisfy the Court in regards to the full circumstances of the reasons surrounding their non inclusion on the roll, however they do show a trend away from the proper administration of the electoral roll, as per requirements of s 23 of the Act.   5.L) In attachment (L), at page twenty-eight (28) the statement of a polling booth employee, whose name is left anonymous due to the terms of his employment, again substantiates issues with the roll, (at para two (2)), where he/she states,   “I must admit to wishing I had read up more on the rules relating to elections, as many attended our booth, for one reason or another found themselves off the electoral roll”   and   “that the booth did not have enough absentee ballot papers”.   5.M) In the statement of Mr. Paul Kuhn, (see attachment (L) on page forty (40) at 6.1),   “One family of five voting age electors told me directly that all five were denied the opportunity to vote by an official because they were not on the roll, despite having voted at the same location for the previous 26 years”.   5.N) In the statement of Ms. Miriam Johnson, (see attachment (L), page fifty-one (51)) she states,   “I had updated my details (change of address) by the close of the roll deadline, however when I went to vote at the Moonta polling place, my old address was still on the roll”.   This shows a trend in issues with the administration of the roll across the State of South Australia.   5.O) The supporting statement of Ms. Rachel McMahon (see attachment (L), page fifty-five (55)), shows a further trend in which she alleges names missing from the roll, and in-fact goes as far as confirming absentee ballot papers ran out in at least one (1) polling booth, Ms. McMahon has confirmed she is willing to give such evidence before the Court.   5.P) The aforementioned statements are show a trend (see attachment (F)) in several questions put to some one hundred (100) South Australian electors by the company “Zoomerang”, where those who took part could only vote once, (see attachment (F) page three (3), question nine (9)),   “If I arrived to vote and I was no longer showing on the roll, can I still vote?”   5.Q) Twenty-eight percent (28%) had no idea if they could vote, a further fifty-four (54%) believed they could not vote, such figures confirming they were not aware of their right to an absentee ballot paper (s 78 of the Act), therefore left without the means to both understand their rights and/or ensure they were able to vote (ss 8subs(1)(c) and 78subss(1),(2),(3)).   5.R) In attachment (F) at page five (5), question four (4), the electorate were asked if they had heard of any friends or family that were denied their opportunity to vote, fifty-six percent (56%) confirmed they had, and a further twenty-nine percent (29%) had not asked their friends, in order for survey purposes.   5.S) In attachment (L), the statement of Mr. Chris Jones by way of e-mail, shows a trend as to issues with the administration of the roll. Mr. Jones states he was not found on the roll at the Hackham East Primary School polling booth, therefore he left without receiving a ballot paper (alleged breaches under s 78subss(1),(2),(3)), only to attend the Christies Beach Primary School polling booth where his name did appear on the electoral roll, and therefore was able to vote.   5.T) The Electoral Commission made available to every polling booth new equipment called a “palm one device” which was designed to ensure access to the complete electoral roll, should an elector for one reason or another attended a polling booth out of their electoral division. It is alleged this new technology has added to the irregularities in the access to electorate information held on the electoral roll, as it is clear from the above statement of Mr. Jones where his enrollment was unable to be confirmed at the first polling place, but was able to be found at a subsequent location. This alleged irregular practice has resulted in the electorate facing similar issues, who may not have made the choice to attend another booth as Mr. Jones so decided.   5.U) The petitioner wishes to raise that allegation from Brian (a polling booth manager) (see attachment (L), page sixty-nine (69)) makes the unsolicited statement online from the internet,   “As I have done for the past 20 years, I worked at one of the many polling booths across the state.”   He went further to mention at (4.),   “It isn’t our fault you aren’t on the roll”.   This statement supports the allegation that issues with the roll were a prominent issue for polling booth staff as well, while this statement can not be verified under oath due to identity reasons, it does help in alleging an overall departure from the proper conduct of the election in regards to the basic provisions of ss 23 and 70 which ensure the rolls are up to date, and that any error or omission does not result in an electorate being denied their right to receive a ballot paper.   5.V) Supporting unsolicited statements confirming that issues with the administration of the roll resulted in the electorate being denied their vote are found in many other locations in the attachments within the petition, such as that of Rosemary of Adelaide in an online internet “blog”, (see attachment (L) at page sixty-six (66)) where she states,   “My son went to vote only to find his name no longer on the electoral roll- he enrolled to vote when he was still in high school, and has voted at every election since he was 18, and now he is 27 he suddenly falls of the roll”   The petitioner concedes such statements do not fulfill the usual rules of evidence found in the Supreme Court, but states that s 106subs(2) applies.   5.W) It is respectfully asserted to your Honour this allows the Court greater scope to ensure equity in such cases is given priority over the usual strict guidelines that would be restrictive in such cases.   5.X) The petitioner respectfully submits to the Court that the above examples show a trend away from the proper conduct of the election as a whole, and had they not occurred, the result of the election could indeed have been different and this section gives rise to an irregularity that has offended the common law right of elections, and could succeed (with the supporting evidence of witnesses in the Court), in proving that an irregularity which may stand alone to support the request for relief under s 107 of the Act.   5.Y) Attachment (B) at page sixty-three (63), Mr. Michael Cooke (at para 3) states,   “The team setup specifically to deal with people for whom the electoral roll had failed to change address was flat out all day according to the man who ultimately assisted me, and he claimed some people would say they had sent in dozens of change of address notifications. There were people in-front and behind me who found they were no longer on the electoral roll, and were told they did not have to vote and would not be fined if that’s what they chose.”   The Question here is did they vote, and if not could the roll omission be responsible for that choice, and if the omission had not been evident, would they have taken up their right to so vote.   5.Z) Attachment (L) at page ninety-four (94); Mr. Terry Purcel gives the enrolled addresses for three (3) people who were denied a vote due to irregularities with the administration of the electoral roll. In the same attachment, Ms. Robyn Andrew confirms her eighty (80) year old grandmother who has voted all her life was denied a vote due to issues with the electoral roll, and is willing to give evidence to the Court.   (The Petitioner would like to remind the court, that all of these statements were unsolicited, and sent to the petitioner as part of hundreds of general complaints)    Part 6s 72subss(1)(a),(b) of the Act   6.A) The introduction of the “Easy Voting Card” resulted in reports of no questions being asked to confirm either (a) to establish identity and (b) if the elector has voted yet, my personal experience found neither questions being asked and furthermore, reports within the electorate that some did not receive their ‘Easy Voting Card” and others who allegedly abuse the process through theft of such cards or multiple use, casting doubt on the final voting figures and therefore the validity of the election (see attachment (H) and survey (F)). It is alleged that the above statement breached s 72subss(1)(a),(b) of the Act.     Part 7 s 74subss(2),(4) of the Act   7.A) The Electoral Commissioner in her Exhibit (see KMM-4 at page one (1) at (1) states that the sixteen thousand, eight hundred and sixteen (16,816) postal votes applied for in time and in the correct manner, were not returned in time for scrutiny under the Act. The petitioner states these postal ballots never made it to the electors of whom requested them in time, supporting the petitioners’ assertion that many South Australian voters did not have the opportunity to cast their vote for the candidate they preferred, by want of electoral stationery and irregularities in the conduct. It is alleged a breach under s 74subss(2) of the Act occurred. It is also alleged that a breach of s 74subs(4) has resulted, as the Electoral Commissioner must have records of all voters.   7.B) An example is shown in attachment (L) page fourteen (14), Mr. Bob Atwell stating,   “My mother who is house bound, did not receive her postal vote pack”, denying her right under s 74 of the Act.   7.C) The petitioner alleges this is not an isolated incident, and states in (see attachment (L) at page twenty-six (26)) the Electoral Commissioner in a media release, states   “The Commission had received a total of ninety-nine thousand five hundred (99,500) applications (for postal ballots) a fifty one percent (51%) increase on the 2006 applications.”   7.D) It is further alleged that the irregularities go further than a sudden increase in applications, when compared to the information found in Attachment (M) page nineteen (19); it is possible that the sharp rise in postal ballot applications was a direct result of non direct application mail outs of the major political parties, where the return address for applications was in-fact the headquarters of the Labor Party rather than the Electoral Commission, this would have resulted in time delays on forwarding such applications, denying applicants timely access to ballot papers, therefore their entitlement to cast their vote in time for formal scrutiny and inclusion in the count.   7.E) A letter addressed to the Electoral Commissioner (Attachment L page fifty (50)) and found elsewhere states,   “The letter I received from your department arrived on Friday the 19 March, advising that if I required a postal vote, it had to have arrived by Thursday the 18March” such incidents are alleged not isolated, and could have resulted in the denial of an electors entitlement to vote.   7.F) Attachment (L) at page eighty (85) further supports such irregularities in the issue of postal ballots in which S.K. Gebhardt states,   “Several friends and themselves did not receive their postal ballots in time.”   7.G) In attachment (M) at page twenty-four (24) the Affidavit of Mrs. Glenda Stevens alleges that although she applied in time, her postal ballot did not arrive in time, denying her an entitlement to vote under the Act.   7.H) The petitioner states in respect to this irregularity, with the supporting evidence that some seventeen thousand five hundred (17,500) postal ballots were not received back to the Electoral Commission in time for inclusion in the count, and that this irregularity, has had an affect on the outcome of the election, as the final result of the said election could be different if only as little as 17 were to have cast their ballots for a particular candidate (see Legislative Council count)   7.I) Further examples of missing ballot papers are confirmed by various unsolicited statements found in attachment (I) at page twenty-seven (27);             295 Roland Malham                       Postal vote 305 Carly Dale                       Postal vote   7.J) Attachment (A) page 3(c) states,   “Anne of Greengables online 6pp applied for postal, SAEC not sent”     Part 8s 73subs(4), s 75, s 78subss(1),(2),(3) of the Act   8.A) The petitioner alleges that polling booth staff breached s 78subss(1),(2),(3) of the Act, by denying the electorate replacement ballot papers.   8.B) The petitioner alleges that a breach occurred under s 75 of the Act. In attachment (H) the petitioner states if not for his knowledge of the Act, he would have not been able to demand a replacement for his spoiled ballot paper, which would or could have resulted in an informal ballot being excluded, denying his entitlement to vote under the Act.   8.C) s 75 is reliant on the assurance of s 8subs(1)(c) in a sense that the electorate are aware of their rights under s 75 and s 78subss(1),(2),(3) and that under s 17 that the polling staff ensure their assistance to receive a replacement ballot paper. The petitioner states that neither these applied.   8.D) Statements include that of the petitioner in Affidavit from attachment (H) and those of the following;   Attachment (H)             page 4 statement of Marie Benson                                      page 9 at 10 Attachment (L)             page 28 statement                                      page 61 statement of Fair Go Attachment (C)            page 41 at 1 Mr. Geoff Sharp   Attachment (F) under the surveys taken by on average of one hundred (100) voters, the results relating to the question about their voting rights, shows a trend that voters did not understand their entitlements and rights, which include their right to demand a replacement ballot paper.   8.E) The aforementioned statements confirm a trend by polling booth staff to deny an electorate their right under the Act to a replacement ballot paper, statements found in the Affidavit of the petitioner further show that it was imperative for voters to understand their rights and obligations under the Act, as indeed he did, enabling him to argue his right to receive a replacement ballot paper.   8.F) The Affidavit of Mr. Anthony Paul Forrest (see attachment (M)) states as to the many issues Mr. Forrest had in casting a vote for the candidate he most preferred, including the denial of a replacement ballot paper, resulting in both his wife and himself being unaware if his vote was to be considered formal under the Act.   8.G) (see evidence at Part 5, 5.C, 5.E, 5.F, 5.H)   8.H) Furthermore, it is alleged a breach occurred at s 78subs(2) of the Act in regards to a declaration vote being issued, as the word “applies” is reliant on the electors proper understanding of their rights to so “apply” and likewise s 17 of the Act, which ensures that the electoral staff assist in such matters.      Part 9 s 71subs(1), s 82subs(2)(d)(i) of the Act   9.A) The petitioner alleges that many electors were denied their right to make a declaration vote, such facts and evidence of, are confirmed in Part 5 of the petition by several witness statements. It is alleged that a breach of s 71subs(1) under the Act occurred.   9.B) Further the Electoral Commissioners decision to no longer send mobile polling services to many declared institutions and their many residents totaling some seventy-seven (77) institutions, denying them the opportunity to cast an informed vote for the candidate they might have preferred by this irregularity in the conduct of the election. If some 7000 electors were denied their right to vote for the candidate they most prefer, this fact alone has the ability to satisfy s107 and the petitioners prayer for relieve.   9.C) The petitioner claims further that declaration voting entitlements extend to those who are so entitled outside the polling booth, for which the commission did not ensure adequate how to vote information to do so under the provisions of the Act, as only one Upper House how to vote poster was supplied to each polling place, not the minimum of two (2) required to fulfill the requirements of the Act.   9.D) With informal ballot papers exceeding eighty thousand (80,000) votes and up to twenty-five thousand (25,000) declaration votes unaccounted for, it is alleged that this would alter the outcome of the election. It is also questionable regarding the votes that are in doubt due to lack of voting equipment.   9.E) A media article found on attachment (L) at page seventy-four (74) states,   “In Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, 96 patients missed out on voting after the Electoral Commission staff were unable to take their votes on polling day”.   9.F) s 71subs(1) also appears to be a similar provision in which a ballot must be supplied.   9.G) It is alleged the polling booth staff gave rise to breach s 82subs(2)(d)(i) of the Act.   9.H) It is alleged the breach occurred from evidence that Miss Hsin-Ju Chiu found in attachment (A) at page one (1) states,   “He took by postal vote in person, however he seems[sic] does not really know what to do with the postal vote, so he took it from me and put it in a box behind him, which looked like a bin”   9.I) Further statements of Miss Hsin-ju Chiu can be found in attachment (H) in the statement of F.R.E.E Australia. The result is that an amount of votes may have affected the outcome of the election by not being either cast of counted as they were intended.          Part 10s 111 of the Act   10.A) It is alleged the aforementioned irregularities interfered with political liberties of a percentage of the electorate and allegedly capable of affecting the out come of an election by denial of their equity of rights. Therefore, it is alleged that the Electoral Commission has breached s 111 of the Act.   10.B) The alleged offending of s 112A under the Act, by way of the “Family First How To Vote Card” irregularities have interfered with the performance of the Family First Political Party and their supporters in regards to their free exercise of entitlement, right or duty under the Act. These allegations can be found in statement attachment (E) and evidence in attachment (L).   10.C) It is alleged the decision by the Electoral Commissioner to allow “another person” to make the decision for hundreds if not thousands of electors confined to declared institutions, to receive mobile polling services has interfered with their political liberty, denying those affected voters, equal access to adequate information and services, with the petitioner stating many have been denied their right to either cast a vote, and or do so in an informed and free manner (testimony at trial of Rod Stienert Affidavit attachment (L) will confirm alleged irregularities).   10.D) The petitioner states that the Electoral Commission have interfered with many candidates in the disputed election to exercise their duties to the electorate and/or their individual liberty to ensure they could best perform in their candidacies, in the petitioners’ Affidavit, attachment (H) at pages one (1) and two (2) at 3,4,5,6 and 7, it is alleged the Electoral Commission made a promise to Legislative Council candidates in which we would all receive contact information for all the candidates contesting the said election, so as to best ascertain preference swaps.   10.E) This information was not made available to the candidates as promised, and further explained in the course of the Affidavit of the petitioner (see attachment (H)), such denial of important information has affected the liberty of all the Upper House candidates.   10.F) The Electoral Commissioner confirms this occurred (see Exhibit KMM-4 at page four (4) 2 to last paragraph) and states,   “Due to tight turn around following the close of nominations and preparation of the ballot paper template, the contact details for candidates could not be published on the website”   10.G) In direct contradiction with the Electoral Commissioners Exhibit KMM-1 which shows a print out of the said information with the production date of Saturday, March 62010, allegedly in time to upload to the Electoral Commissioners website as promised.   10.H) It is alleged further evidence of irregularity and procedural errors exist in statements of the political parties, F.R.E.E. Australia Party and the One Nation Political Party in other attachments.   10.I) Hindering or interference with the free exercise or performance by any other person, or a right or duty under this Act is alleged to have had an effect on the outcome of the election, by denial of a candidates right to equity in service and the implied right of candidates having fair and free access to timely information so as to ensure their ability to equity, as preferences determined several seats in the said election.     Part 11s 112B of the Act   11.A) It is alleged the South Australian Labor Party during the day of the election, distributed “How To Vote” cards which clearly were designed to mislead the electorate as to who they represented, by the use of a word, or set of words that could It is alleged the Electoral Commissioner has failed to take adequate steps to ensure the public are informed of their rights and obligations, only where to go to vote for those that did receive their “Easy Voting Card”, resulting in doubt cast on the intent of ballots being genuinely cast for the electorates most preferred candidate, by want of election machinery. not be able to be, registered as the name, or as part of the name, of a political party under Part 6 of the Act because of the operation of s 42subss(2)(e) or (3)(b). It is alleged this behavior has affected the outcome of the election. The petitioner alleges that a breach of s 112B has occurred.   (see attachment (E) and attachment (L) pages eighteen (18) and twenty (20))   11.B) Although the media covered this event in detail, (attachment E) expands on the many who felt affected by the alleged breach of the Act, the Electoral Commissions irregular decision to allegedly restrict “How To Vote” information in polling booths and allowed for such material to have more chance of success, this breach of the Act had the sole intention of affecting the out come of an election.   11.C) The above situation is allegedly an irregularity in the conduct of the election, and even though it is an event designed by the perpetrators to affect only certain Lower house seats, it becomes an irregularity that adds to the trend, the election has strayed far from the legislative provision for the proper conduct of an election comfortable at law.     Part 12s 115subs(1)(a) of the Act   12.A) It is alleged that advertisements did exist during the election campaign period which were an offence under s 115subs(1)(a) of the Act, because they did occupy an area greater than one (1) square metre and photographs of the advertisements found by the petitioner, are to be witnessed from attachment (D) at pages nineteen (19) and twenty (20).   12.B) The petitioners’ Affidavit in attachment (H) states that the Adelaide Motorplex sign on page twenty (20) was driven for several weeks in and around Adelaide which included parking outside rallies of Parliament House and driven around the Clipsal motor race event.   12.C) It is alleged this breach is an offence under s 115subs(1)(a) of the Act, and an irregularity in the conduct, which has affected the outcome of the election.     Part 13 s 124subs(1)(b) of the Act   13.A) It is alleged that reports in the media copies of which are found in attachment (K) at page five (5), and confirmed by the Electoral Commission in an e-mail received by the petitioner, did occur, which equates to an irregularity capable of affecting the outcome of the election. Therefore, it is alleged that a breach occurred under s 124subs(1)(b) of the Act.   13.B) Furthermore in Exhibit KMM-4, the Electoral Commissioner further confirms abuse of s 124, in respect of the receipt of postal vote applications totaling seven thousand, four hundred and fifty-one (7,451) which were rejected for a variety of reasons including “multiple requests”.   13.C) It is alleged this irregularity is complicated in its affect on the election by aforementioned issues of electoral roll discrepancies, missing postal ballots et al, that make the true impact on the election result contentious to ascertain, but in stating such, the breaches of s 124 show a trend to an irregularity in the conduct capable of and designed to affect the outcome, and combined with the many aforementioned irregularities give further weight that the election has not been a process comfortable at law.     Part 14 s 125subss(1)(a),(b),(c) of the Act   14.A) Several statements found in the petition and the Affidavit of the petitioner (attachment (H)) allege that s 125subss(1)(a),(b),(c) were breached on occasions through a variety of polling booth locations, resulting in an irregularity in the conduct, which allegedly was designed to affect the outcome, and if it were not to occur has had an affect on the outcome of the election.   14.B) Attachment (L) at page five (5), the statement of Ms. Kerry J Seebohm confirms several alleged breaches of s 125subss(1)(a),(b),(c), as does Ms. Nancy Fahey on page seven (7) and on page twelve (12), Ms Corinne Hall goes further to state,   “This young man was giving a very loud election speech, and upsetting the girls”   and   “He then tried to abuse me”, when speaking of those giving out how to vote cards.   14.C) In attachment (L) the e-mail of Ernie details breaches of s 125subss(1)(a),(b),(c), the Electoral Commission concedes this irregularity by way of her Exhibit KMM-4, on page three (3),   “On election day many party workers tend to establish themselves within the 6 meters of the entrance to the polling place.”   14.D) It is alleged that what the Electoral Commissioner does not address is party workers intimidating electors as they enter the polling place, and the possible affect it would have on the outcome of the election, either for or against the party they are said to represent.     FINAL SUMMARY  The results of the Legislative Council Election in some cases were affected by as little as 17 votes, when one looks at the results by exclusions from the count, for clarity here are some of the exclusions;   Count 22 Independent Joseph Williams excluded by                          304 votes           24 Independent Joe Lenco                                                            59 votes           25 The National Party                                                                 129 votes           27 Trevor Grace                                                                         574 votes           28 One Nation party                                                                      82 votes           29 FREE Australia Party                                                            954 votes           30 Independent Fishing and Lifestyle                                         285 votes           32 Independent Legalize Euthanasia                                           354 votes           33 Gamers for Croyden                                                                17 votes   Figures and facts from the State Election March 20 2010, that the petitioner argues are in contention, and exceed the total of 17 which would have affected the outcome.   Enrolled voters 1,015,386 Enrolled voters in the lower house 1,013,891...…………………………………  1,495 Invalid/informal votes in the upper house 57,398……………………………….57,398 Invalid/informal votes the lower house 34,252………………………………….34,252 Didn’t turn up to vote in the upper house 80,449 Didn’t turn up to vote in the lower house 78,474 Total non-voters 77,930………………………………………………………….77,930 Total receiving a first notice for a fine 41,400 Total excused for not voting 36,530 Increase in the informal vote for the upper house 6092…………………………  6,092 Postal ballots requested 100,397 Postal ballots refused 7,452 ………………………………………………………7,452 Postal votes issued 92,946 Postal ballots received back 76,130 Postal ballots missing 16,816..…………………………………………………  16,816   All Figures in the left column are open to contention.     RELIEF SOUGHT BY THE PETITIONER    The petitioner seeks relief by way of an order declaring the aforementioned election void and requiring a new election to be held under s 107subs(1)(c) of the Act, (a) due to a defect in a roll or certified list of electors; and (b) an irregularity in, or affecting, the conduct of the election, as it can be proven to the Court, that it will be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the result of the election was affected by the many listed defects and irregularities and that under the common law of elections, the irregularities are so great in number that the election can not be deemed an election at law.       (NOTE)  The South Australian general election conducted on March 20 2010 was allegedly not an election at law, due to many irregularities in its conduct. The electorate were denied their right to cast their vote for the candidate they most preferred, by errors in the roll, irregularities in the conduct and by want of equipment and a lack of understanding of their rights and obligations under the Act.   The Electoral Commission were not awarded adequate time and funding to conduct the election as is required under the Act, their part-time staff and the electorate in general were not well informed enough to ensure the candidates chosen by the election results were those that the majority preferred.   The Electoral Commissions decision to enact irregular practices in respect of the usual public education regime, has failed in its task, sending an uninformed electorate to the polls, the sudden surge in postal ballot applications due to in particular the Labor Parties’ mass mail out of postal vote applications with the return address being their own office rather than the Electoral Commissioner (see attachment (M)) has contributed to an overload of resources and time to ensure adequate review, which has in itself cast doubts on the votes of some twenty five thousand (25,000) electors due to the processing of the postal ballots alone.   Those electors that do not or can not read the local paper, or do not have access to the internet, deserve to be as informed as those that can, as do our elderly, first time voters and new Australians, but when those that do, still attend to vote ill informed, the election has failed.   Similar time constraints without doubt have brought about similar issues with the administration and servicing of the electoral roll, and the supply of adequate stationary and information found lacking in the polling booths at the election.   Witnesses at trial will support the nominated sections of the Act that the petitioner has alleged incurred a breach, and the petitioner is certain of the facts contained in the petition before the Court, he would be more than happy to call more witnesses by way of random choice from the electoral roll to prove without doubt the conduct of the election was not one comfortable at law.                  The Petitioner, Mark Marshall Aldridge………………………………………………………   Candidates and enrolled voted in the March 2010 State Election South Australia  



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