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The fight to protect our most basic right, our vote.

Through out our history their have been many election disputes, and many a paper in search of electoral reform, most disputes have been based around defamation of a candidate in a variety of ways, and the most argued reform has been based around the true freedom of choice optional preferential voting would provide, and the communities need to become better informed of their choices.

The structural biases that has crept into our electoral system has been the direct result of conflict of interest, those that write the laws having the most to gain by the biases found.

South Australia’s March 2010 election, took voting irregularities to an all time low, most SA voters were appalled at the corrupt tactics employed by the Labor party in regards to the Family First “How to vote scandal” as this situation was made very public, other issues such as The State Labor party registering the name “Isobel Redmond” were not made so public.  

Voters being denied access to the polling booths and hundreds if not thousands of postal votes going missing, made less of an impact on voter backlash, being found only if one just happened upon the buried stories.

Those in the know, like polling booth managers and career politicians or budding candidates all noticed the severe lack of voter “How to vote” information, usually abundant during past election processes. Knowing well the impact it would have on genuine voter intention.

But with out doubt it was the back yard BBQ and the chat in the pubs that was bringing to the publics attention the most outright attack on voters rights, the electoral roll deficiencies. If I as one person can have hundreds of written complaints from voters denied their right to vote, due to discrepancies in the roll, the true numbers must be staggering, only last Saturday a member of the public was telling me at a BBQ a few days after the election, of the 12 people enjoying a relaxing afternoon, 9 had been denied their vote to vote, not even an absentee ballot was offered.

Other affidavits I have received are testament to not only long term voters finding them selves of the roll, but the inclusion of family members who had passed on many years earlier, are some of these included in the supposed 80,000 enrolled voters who never showed up to vote?

Could the 60,000 informal votes have been a result of lack of how to vote information? Emails I have received cover so many irregularities it is some what overwhelming, people asked to vote under another’s name, and we have yet to cover the multiple voting scandal, which did make an appearance in the media, as did those fake voter enrolments found by the delivery of the “easy voting card”. At this stage making mention of the many concerns raised by the new idea of the easy voting card, seems some what an over kill, none the less, I have over 300 pages of statements confirming all off the above and a few more irregularities to boot, and wait until you see the results of the surveys I have had completed.

The March 2010 election strayed so far from the legislative requirements for an election process, I doubt the court of disputed returns will uphold any of it. I will at this stage keep the worst information received up my sleeve, well in regards to the election process.   

The biggest story to come out of all of this, and it is not the fact that my petition opened the eyes of the English media to the huge electoral fraud unfolding in their country, but to the unjust system in place to dispute the validity of our elections, and ensure the protections of voters rights.

Petitions to the court of disputed returns, have, as one would expect severe time restrictions, luckily for me, I was able to collate well over 1000 pieces of evidence in a very short period of time. A petitioner has 40 days from the return of the writ to file a petition, the first petition I put forward for filing took nearly 2 weeks to knock back on technicalities, even thought the electoral act protects petitioners from such issues. The revised petition, to suit the interpretation of wording in the act at this early filing stage, has faced other interesting time wasting measures, just as my family has faced intimidation to drop the action, by some one privy to the courts safe keeping of the petition.

Even though we have now been told the petition is compliant and has been accepted, they are still taking days to finalize filing issues and to procure a hearing date, asking for financials not only of my circumstances but that of my wife, and even our self funded native Animal sanctuary?

Such tactics bemuses me, as even when a hearing date is confirmed, I will still be the amateur up against the best crown solicitors, but hey the evidence is overwhelming.

If justice is seen and heard, we will go back to the polls, it might be the case that interpretation of the word “Election” may see it only be the upper house and the 1 lower house seat in which I could vote, but I still feel the separation of powers and the integrity of our supreme court, will find in favor of our most basic and valuable right to cast a vote, and up hold the due process of our electoral system.

 Mark M Aldridge 08 82847482 / 0403379500 

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