OFFICIALLY at least, there’s not truth in the rumour that would-be Poowong voters, those whose surnames start with the letter ‘A’, didn’t receive their ballot packs as part of the Australia Post bungle.
Former Lorraine Brunt raised the issue on social media last Wednesday, with a post on the Korumburra Community Noticeboard Facebook page, as follows:
“Did everyone receive their Ballot Packs? In Poowong the letter ‘A’ surname are missing. Has anyone else not received their packs yet?” Mrs Brunt said.
“If not please note the following – The VEC contact details are 1300 202 885 or call in at 37 Bair St Leongatha before 6pm Friday – note for the first time that if you are over 70 years of age, voting is no longer optional- it is compulsory.”
The Sentinel-Times contacted the Victorian Electoral Commission about the claims, the surnames starting with ‘A’ had not received voting packs, but they said the matter had been investigated and they had not been able to establish that such an event had occurred.
“We believe all of the ballot papers have now been distributed, however if anyone still hasn’t received their voting pack, it’s more likely to be an issue of the wrong address of some other voting roll matter.
“If anyone still hasn’t received a voting pack they should contact the electoral office in Leongatha, 37 Bair Street, phone 1300 202 885. They can also check their enrolment details on the VEC website.”
The spokesperson for the VEC said eligible voters could also vote at the electoral office in Leongatha and get their name checked off the list.
“There will be extended operating hours at the electoral office in Leongatha on Thursday, October 28 until 8pm and also on Friday, October 29, the last day for voting, from 9am to 6pm.”
The VEC could not, however say, after the debacle with as many as 9000 lost ballot papers, if there were still any outstanding ballot.
The VEC has also not revealed what happened with the lost voting packs, many of which arrived before or after the newly printed voting packs were sent out.
But people who responded to the shared post by Mrs Brunt revealed that they still hadn’t received their ballot papers and, unable to make it into the Leongatha office to vote, expressed the hope they wouldn’t cop a fine.