Not a single person will be prosecuted for multiple voting at the 2013 federal election – even those who admitted to casting more than one ballot paper. Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said he was “disturbed” that of the nearly 8000 cases of suspected voting fraud passed to the Australian Federal Police, not a single case has been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Of the 7743 suspect cases referred to the AFP, just 65 were investigated and not one will progress to conviction. Mr Rogers told a Senate estimates committee that the file passed to the AFP included voters who had actually admitted to voting at more than one polling station and cases where the offence had been denied but there was supporting evidence that they had.
Mr Rogers told senators at a hearing on Tuesday night that the legislation enabling the prosecution of voting cheats needed to be overhauled to protect the “perception of integrity” of Australia’s voting system. “I’m the commissioner and I’m disturbed by the numbers I’m telling you this evening,” he said. “I’m uncomfortable with the current situation.”
He said the AFP had advised the commission that it would require greater evidence, such as closed circuit surveillance cameras in polling places, to secure prosecutions.
“The main inhibitors are the lack of corroborative evidence available … I’ve done about as much as I can do with the issue of multiple voting. We’ve referred more multiple voters to the AFP than, I think, ever before in the history of the AEC,” Mr Rogers said. “There is clearly an issue with the process and it does concern me.”