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Do you know the new How-to-Vote card requirements?

Friday, 23 August 2013
By Print 21 Online Article
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The Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries) is warning Australian printers taking on federal election-related jobs to make sure they remind their clients of a change in How-to-Vote card requirements.

Printing Industries believes that many Federal Election candidates may have been ‘caught on the hop’ by Amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Act that could seem them having to reprint How-to-Vote cards.

The amendments require authorisation details to be included at the top or bottom of ‘each printed face’ on How-to-Vote cards, which was previously not the case.

Printing Industries CEO Bill Healey (pictured) said that the 2010 Amendment to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 were passed by the same politicians who may now be faced with having to re-do their How-to-Vote cards.

“With the pressure of preparing their election material for the 2013 Federal Election, it appears from the feedback I have received from our members that some politicians are unaware of the requirement in spite of being involved in the passing of the legislation.

“This election will be the first where the Amendment has been enacted since being passed in 2010,” he said.

Healey said that the onus to comply with the Electoral Act, including the amendments, rested with candidates.

“However I have already informed our members who may be asked to print How-to-Vote cards to ensure that they remind their clients of this new obligation,” he said. “I think it is likely that there may be some disruption to the preparation of cards by some candidates.”

Healey said he had spoken to the Chief Legal Officer of the Australian Electoral Commission to confirm the issue. The Amendment states:

328B          Requirements relating to how-to-vote cards

Authorisation details must be included on how-to-vote card 

(1) The following information (the authorisation details) must be included at the top or bottom of each printed face of a how-to-vote
card:

(a) the name and address of the person who authorised the how-to-vote card;
(b) the following information (to the extent that it is not already required by paragraph (a)):

(i) if the card is authorised by or on behalf of a registered political party, or by or on behalf of a candidate who is endorsed by a registered political party—the name of the registered political party;
(ii) if the card is authorised by or on behalf of a candidate who is not endorsed by a registered political party — the candidate’s name, and the word “candidate”.

Mr Healey said the Chief Legal Officer had suggested that Printing Industries also provide the industry with the definition of what a How-to Vote card is.

A HowtoVote card means a card, handbill or pamphlet:

(a)  that:

(i)  is, or includes, a representation of a ballot paper or part of a ballot paper for an election (or something apparently intended to represent a ballot paper or part of a ballot paper for an election); and

(ii)  is apparently intended to affect, or is likely to affect, how votes are cast for any or all of the candidates in the election; or

(b)  that lists the names of 2 or more of the candidates or registered political parties in an election, with a number indicating the order of voting preference in conjunction with the names of 2 or more of the candidates or parties; or

(c)  that otherwise directs or encourages the casting of votes in an election in a particular way, other than a card, handbill or pamphlet:

(i)  that only relates to first preference votes; or

(ii)  that only relates to last preference votes.

Mr Healey said a copy of the Act including the 2010 and 2013 amendments which removed the font size requirements can be downloaded here.

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