Police have raided the city offices of a Melbourne Council candidate, dramatically escalating investigations into suspected vote-rigging ahead of this weekend's election.
Azeezur Rahaman, a candidate for the upcoming Melbourne City Council elections. Photo: Jason SouthPolice and local government officers investigating an illegal "vote harvesting" scheme entered the Queen Street offices of Azeezur Rahaman today.
The allegations of vote rigging are backed up by anecdotal evidence from poll workers who have been reporting that when the door knocked public housing tenants voting papers had been collected from tenants with African and Indian decent and presumably posted. This has raised ongoing concern as to the probity of postal voting.
Mr Anthony van der Craats, Systems Analyst and Independent Candidate in the City Council election, has called on the returning officer to facilitate the proper scrutiny of the ballot by undertaking a preliminary sort of ballot papers by primary vote as is required by the Local Government Act.
A preliminary sort will enable scrutineers to monitor the ballot and detect if there is common handwriting on ball papers favouring a particular candidate. There is concern that the VEC will seek to cut corners by not undertaking a preliminary sort. Without a a preliminary sorting of ballot papers prior top the data-entry of below the line votes it is impossible for scrutineers to properly observe the counting of the votes