Some Australians are refusing to use the Australian Electoral Commission’s postal voting forms because they require personal details to be printed on the back of the returning envelope. Voters must provide their name, address and signature, together with the signature of a witness on the envelope which contains their completed ballot papers. If the person has changed their name or address since they last voted, those details must also be added to the form together with a phone number and the town or city in which they were born. One Sydney voter, who asked for his name to be withheld, told ninemsn he was shocked such details would be visible and feared the system made it too easy to facilitate identity theft. He believes the practice goes against the widely held belief that your personal details should be guarded closely to avoid them being used for other purposes.
“The concern is that the mail would be exposed to a fair few people,” he said.
“It also goes against the general guidance not to make your personal details available – even in the garbage or the recycling.”
… An AEC spokesman told ninemsn that legislation dictates that forms must be returned in the envelope “…on which the postal vote certificate is printed.” He said the form was designed in the current fashion to reduce the number of informal votes received.
“At past elections, we’ve found that some postal votes were being returned to the AEC (the Divisional Returning Officer for the electoral division for which the person is enrolled) outside of the official envelope certificate making them informal, and meaning they could not be counted,” Assistant Director Greg Doolan said.
Full Article: Postal vote details raises privacy fears.