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Bloody hell! Screwed again.


old man emu
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Local Government elections were held in New South Wales yesterday, 4th December. Because I have to stay at home just about 24/7, except to pop down to the shops, I didn't know they were on. Now I am expecting a $55 fine for not voting. The first time I've missed an election at any level in close on 50 years. 

 

How was I supposed to know that the election was on? I saw no one campaigning. I saw only one candidate "vote for me" poster, and got only one flyer in the letterbox. There was nothing to tell me when election day was. I don't watch the News on TV as there is nothing of interest in it. Murdoch and his like have seen to that. As far as I know, it is not compulsory that I watch News programs or buy/subscribe to news products. Unless of course we are living in Oceania, a giant country comprised of the Americas; the Atlantic Islands, including the British Isles; Australia; and the southern portion of Africa, the setting of George Orwell's 1949 dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

 

I can't see any bureaucrat accepting that as a reason for not voting. Ignorance of the law, and all that. But I'm not guilty of ignorance of the law, just ignorant of the date of teh election.

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As I understand, ignorance of the law is no excuse, but ignorance of that facts is an excuse. You know you have to submit a ballot paper, which is the law - you just didn't know an election was on - which is the facts. I have no idea what the test would be for acceptable ignorance of the facts, but it would probably have to be something like it would have been unreasonable not to know.

 

As Spacey says, just let them know more or less what happened and if you are going to throw in the COVID symptoms, unless you line up Doctor 4 Days Off to collaborate (and have a medicare charge to prove it), just say the symptoms appeared on election day and it was too late to get a postal vote 😉

 

Also, if you have not missed an election in 50 years, then they are probably going to understand, depending on how broke the government are. Also, if your MP is likely to be sympathetic, may be worth getting in touch if things get hairy with the AEC.

 

 

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It appears I'm not Robinson Crusoe. I just had a look at the election results. Three are three Wards in my LGA. In two, the turnout was only 40% of the eligible, and in the other, 20%. I looked at Sutherland Shire and they only got around 50% turnout as well. Somehow I think that the Electoral Commission will have to do some hard thinking before it starts sending out fines. Or maybe better still, if everyone elects to have the matter dealt with in Court, then we can tie up the local courts  until the next LGA elections. 

 

 

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I remember one state election where premier Peter Beattie pulled on a snap early election in January. His idea was to capitalise on polling numbers and the public feel good mood coming out of the Christmas holiday break. At the time I was doing fifo work and the time from calling the election to holding it was so small, it was called and held while we were still on the hitch in a remote area interstate. There was no way anyone on the crew could vote. I received a please explain notice from the electoral commission threatening fines for not voting. I wrote back to them that my democratic right to vote was denied by the premier's opportunistic short campaign and told them that I would like to lodge an official complaint with them. No response from the EC; never heard boo from them again.

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