Local election complaints resolved by Commission

THE WA Electoral Commission (WAEC) received four complaints about the 2015 City of Perth local government election.

A WAEC election report sent to the City for a December 15 meeting said two electors complained about the incorrect authorisation of election material on YouTube, a leaflet and on a website.

A WAEC spokesman said one of the complaints, made on October 12, was based on a lack of authorisation from the candidate.

Under section 187 of the Electoral Act (1907), it is illegal for candidates not to include authorisation with their name and address on advertising material, which the spokesman said was necessary to give people a right of response.

The report said a third complaint was about a candidate who allegedly verbally denigrated an opposing candidate to an elector. The WAEC spokesman said people were free to comment on candidates’ policies as long as it was not a personal attack.

“Electors are at liberty to comment candidly about the candidates and their policies,” the spokesman said.

“We don’t censor freedom of speech.”

Further complaints in the report objected to an election site name on Facebook and a web page, which implied it belonged to council rather than the candidate, and another was about the delay in posting election results online.

According to the WAEC report, all complaints were resolved.       Caitlin Tiller