Full Preferential Count for Cessnock begins on Friday 1st April

A full preferential count for Cessnock will begin on Friday 1st April.  We will be able to see just how effective the ALP campaign to have voters just Vote 1 in Cessnock really was.

At this point the most likely winner of Cessnock is the ALP on just 34% of the vote.  The ALP spent more money on Cessnock, Wallsend and Swansea because they thought these were the seats they could hold.

In Cessnock a special team of booth workers was brought in from Melbourne to urge voters to just vote 1.   These booth workers were dressed in white ‘official’ looking T-shirts and distributed the card pictured below. We have had feedback from many people that they thought the ‘Just Vote 1’  ALP booth workers were polling officials.

Cessnock Greens have received a written advice from  a voter who says they were advised inside the polling to booth that all they had to do was  just vote 1.

We believe the  ALP tactics were unethical. We believe this because the booth workers stood apart from the regular ALP booth workers, wore different T-shirts and were not immediatly identifiable as Labor workers. The card they handed out was authorised but in the chaos that often surrounds a polling booth many people thought they were receiving official advice as the card did not advocate any particular candidate.  The card did not fully inform voters of their choices  to mark one, some, or all of the boxes in order of their preference – with the most likely result being an elected member without majority support from the local community.

The Cessnock Greens are considering lodging a complaint with the returning Officer and if enough evidence becomes apparent  a challenge to the election result in Cessnock may also be considered.

If you, or someone you know of was influenced by these Just Vote 1 cards or encouraged to just Vote 1 at the polling booth please contact me.

 

James Ryan

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