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2015 » January MikeFitz with overflow bit set…

Archive for January, 2015

WARNING: LNP-supplied reply-paid envelopes for postal vote applications don’t go to the Electoral Commission

Friday, January 9th, 2015

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Stop Press!
Ensure you see the important note at bottom.

Did all my Queensland friends receive their personal letter from their local LNP member or candidate yesterday? I did. The letter contained seven uses of the word “strong”, three “stronger”s but no “care”, “compassion”, “help” or “community”. That’s the LNP for you.

But wait! There’s more!

The envelope also contained a Postal Vote Application form. How thoughtful! There was even a reply-paid envelope, saving me 70c postage. How kind!

This would be really useful if, on election day (Sat Jan 31, 2015), I were to be interstate, overseas, travelling, in a remote area (like my favourite place on the planet, Fraser Island) or rostered on to work all day. Simply fill in the application form, stuff it in the supplied envelope, drop it in the postbox and wait for my postal vote by return mail.

Hang on a minute…

Where did that reply-paid envelope go to? It certainly didn’t go to the ECQ’s correct address…

Electoral Commission Queensland
GPO Box 1393
Brisbane QLD 4001

LNP-supplied reply-paid envelopes for postal vote applications don't go to the Electoral Commission (click to enlarge)
LNP-supplied reply-paid envelopes for postal vote applications don’t go to the Electoral Commission

No, no, no! It went to some post office box at Spring Hill. Spring Hill just happens to be the location of LNP headquarters. OMG, I’ve just given a *political party* all of my information required to obtain a postal vote. I’ve given them my full name, my address, my date of birth, contact phone number, even my SIGNATURE!!!

Security Question

This year, there’s a special, fraud-preventing, addition to the form – a security question. I presume I will have to answer this question again when I submit my postal vote and scrutineers will check that the answer with my ballot paper matches the answer on this application form.

OMG AGAIN! I’ve just told a *political party* the name of my first pet. They can now answer my security question for me. Does anybody else feel nervous about this?

Security geeks will recognise this as a classic “man in the middle” attack.

Privacy? Pffft!

No doubt the LNP are collecting this information for follow-up. How secure is their database? Do I have to go back in time and change the name of my first pet for security reasons? Can I see a copy of the information the LNP holds about me? Actually, no. Political parties are specifically exempted from the provisions of the Privacy Act. So, tough!

Is the LNP doing something illegal?

Apparently, not. And the other parties might be doing it too. However, because this form was posted direct to me personally, completely unsolicited, containing no LNP logo and no indication that the return address was NOT the Electoral Commission, I would call it devious, deceptive, dishonest and unethical.

For Best Results

Wherever possible, always download your postal vote application form from the Electoral Commission Queensland website (ecq.qld.gov.au) You could also apply online. Save 70c postage.

While you are there, check your enrolment details are up to date. If you have changed address recently, a spot-check could have removed you from the roll. This can happen, even if you just move across the street or to another apartment in the same building.

P. S.

Some have suggested creative uses for what should be returned in the LNP’s reply-paid envelope, but I won’t repeat them here.

P. P. S.

Guess what arrived in today’s mail? Yep, Labor’s Postal Vote Application form. However, their reply-paid envelope is clearly labelled “Australian Labor Party Queensland Branch“. The address is West End.

Clearly, Labor is being more ethical about this. Even more clearly, the law that allows this mail redirection needs changing.