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Political parties using postal vote forms to gain access to personal information

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Many voters have been left confused after receiving letters in the mail from political parties which look similar to official forms from the Australian Electoral Commission.

But the AEC has warned voters that these forms are not posted directly to them.

Electors who complete the forms send them back to the political party which posted them, and they are then mailed on to the AEC.

The practice has sparked concern that voters may be unwittingly providing political parties with their personal information.

Steve Kennedy, AEC Victorian State Manager, told 3AW’s Tony Jones that both major parties are distributing the forms, and the practice is not new.

In the lead up to the 2016 federal election an estimated 120,000 people returned postal vote applications from the Liberal party, while 100,000 returned postal vote forms from Labor.

Mr Kennedy urged people who want to vote early to attend an early voting centre or register for a postal vote on the AEC website, or by phone on 13 23 36.

However, he said political parties are not breaking the law by posting the forms.

“Under the current laws that’s permissible,” he said.

3AW’s Tony Jones told voters to “rip up” the letters if they receive them.

“If you get one of these letters in the mail, rip it up,” he said.

Registered postal voters, such as the elderly or unwell, will received ballot papers from the AEC automatically.

Early voting centres open next Monday 29th April.

Over 40 per cent of Victorians are expected to vote early.

Press PLAY below to hear what Steve Kennedy, AEC Victorian State Manager, had to say about the mailouts.

3AW Mornings